WIP Wednesday (Selvage Blocks)

Selvage Quilt Block_yellow

Okay, these 20″ blocks are addicting.  Someone on IG commented on my selvage stash, but the whole thing could fit into a gallon ziploc bag.  There are all those selvages on my stash, however. . .

Other Works in Progress, this Wednesday morning:

Rainbow Petals.v2Rainbow Petals–the more I type that name, the more I realize it needs to be changed

LollypopTree Top FinishedLollypop Tree Quilting.  It’s such a big project, I keep waiting for the decks to be cleared to start on it.  That’s always a bad idea if you are trying to get something done, but a good way to procrastinate.

February CrossX blocks_2

Cross-X Quilt Blocks. That’s February’s installment on our Friendship Swap to the left.

Cutting out the quilt with the Mirror Ball Dots fabric.  Let’s just make that THINKING up the quilt with the Mirror Ball Dots fabric.  (No photo)
That’s enough for now.

Linking up to Lee’s Freshly Pieced blog and her WIP Wednesday.

WIP on


Selvage Block-A-Long

Selvage Quilt Block_orange

I joined Diane’s Selvage Block-A-Long Flickr group some time ago, but didn’t have anything to show off for it. Now I finally have this lovely burst of orange.  I used Poppyprint’s tutorial, figuring “Why reinvent the wheel and make my own?” as hers was perfectly lovely.

Drawing Lines on Vellum for Quilt Block

I did draw two more lines on either side of the middle diagonal, and it did help keep me on track (try not to find where I went haywire).

Pins while Stitching Selvage Block

And I found that using pins was also helpful to keep the selvages from shifting.  I use vellum paper, still leftover from Come-A-Round’s marathon of paper piecing a couple of years back, gluing on a side strip to widen the 8 1/2″ to 10,”  making it all nice and square.  True Confession: I didn’t have this many orange selvages in my pile, so YES, I did head to the stash, pulling and cutting to make more.  If you cut them with at least one inch  ABOVE the white selvage line, you’ll be a happier piecer.

Feb2014 ABL Quilt Block

I also had chance to finish up the February Block for the Always Bee Learning Bee.  She meant to send out the fabric several times, but her family has had a bad winter of flu and yuck, so we received it last week, and I got it out the door today. I’m not making progress on my List of Goals, instead, I write the new project on, then cross it off.  Is that cheating?

Center Greens of Rainbow Petals

Here’s one that was written on recently: Rainbow Petals.  I went and found all the greens I could in my LQS, cut and shaped petals and stuck them on.  Which one would you choose?

Rainbow Petals.v2

Right.  Me neither.  So I went back to my stash and tried to find colored petals that would be slightly darker, yet a blend of the two adjacent petals.  I had some successes, but going around to fabric stores to find just the right color may take a while.  Better move this one off the First Quarter Goal Sheet and on to the second.  And really, since it is the 10th already, there may be a few more projects moving forward, given that Spring Break is coming up, I might have visitors, and that the essay on Short Stories is coming in on Thursday.

Time Flies

Right.  I knew that.

Quilts · Textiles & Fabric

Grand Central Terminal Contest Quilts


The winners of the Grand Central Terminal Quilt Contest have been announced by New York City’s fabulous quilt shop: The City Quilter.  This contest was held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Grand Central Station, an amazing place with a beautiful entrance hall.  After the glorious Penn Station in New York was sacrificed/torn down, a group of concerned citizens in the 1960s banded together to save Grand Central Station from an equally horrific end, and succeeded. It’s one of my favorite places in New York City, and I always stop there when I visit, as well as to pick up something good to eat from Zabar’s in one of the market places there.

Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 4.14.17 PM

Time Flies, But We Take the Train by Amy Krasnansky

This was the Grand Prize Winner, incorporating elements of the physical building, plus some commemorative fabric from City Quilter.  They have created a Flickr page *here* where you can see more of the quilts.

Grand Central Station Quilt 2

Chasms 16: Under the Stars by Beth Carney

Here’s another favorite, with the tracks and trains snaking through the complete image.  We recently watched the PBS documentary on the tearing down of Penn Station, which also included the history of how they built the train tunnels under the water to connect the mainland with New York City and Long Island.  What a beautiful place Penn Station was, and how lucky we are to have Grand Central Station!

Grand Central Station 3

Jewel of New York by Cheryl Kosarek

Quilts · WIP

WIP, RP, BB Can’t You See?

That’s Works in Progress, Rainbow Petals, Bee Blocks, can’t you see?  I just liked the rhythm of it all, especially after the previous post, with Emily Dickinson, a reclusive but prolific American poet, writing about her sewing.  And yes, that video was of my granddaughter, taking her first stitches.

Rainbow Petals

So the Work in Progress is my Rainbow Petals quilt.  This is a rainy-day-late-at-night photo, and we all know how those turn out, but if this looks familiar, that’s because it is.  (Check your iPhone.)  I first thought of this last summer, when — in bed recuperating from foot surgery — I watched the Apple Keynote talk about their new iOS7, and this logo kept flashing on the screen.  I took a screen shot of it and tucked it away.  I went to the Long Beach Quilt Show (final year) and bought sixteen different half yards in the Kona colors I thought would match, holding up my screen shot to double check the colors.  My friend Leisa and I arranged them at dinner that night, numbering the labels so I wouldn’t mix them up.  I’ve since seen another quilter try her hand at this.  I had thought to piece it, but now I think I’ll appliqué it by hand.

I’m still thinking over those dark middle petals.  While they “read” as black, they are actually forest green.


I also finished a first set of churn dash blocks for my Mid-Century Modern Quilt Bee and sent them off.  I kept thinking about them, unhappy with how they had turned out.

MCM Feb 2014

So I made another set.  I am one of those quilters who have ironed seams so long to the side, that I’m not very happy with my results when I have to iron seams open.  If the block is too small, and the seams are pressed to the side, I just take a bigger seam and press again.  But if the seams are pressed open, then it’s unpick, resew, re-press.  As I mentioned on our Mid-Century Bee blog, I’m just Open-Quilt-Seam-Challenged.

MCM March 2014

Cindy, also from the Mid-Century Modern Bee, wanted a spiderweb block, with a low-volume (muted) text center and solid strips for the web.  A great idea!

ABL March 2014_2

For March in my Always Bee Learning Bee, Marci wanted two Modern Maples blocks.

MQG Member Logo

And yep.  I did it.  I joined the Modern Quilt Guild as an Individual Member because my closest guild was MILES away, across the great wide scorching plains of Los Angeles Traffic — or Orange County Traffic — and I wasn’t able to attend their meetings.  Maybe in summertime?

WIP new button

Linking up with Lee of Freshly Pieced.


Don’t Put Up My Thread and Needle

Don’t put up my Thread and Needle (617)
by Emily Dickinson

Don’t put up my Thread and Needle—
I’ll begin to Sew
When the Birds begin to whistle—
Better Stitches—so—

These were bent—my sight got crooked—
When my mind—is plain
I’ll do seams—a Queen’s endeavor
Would not blush to own—

Hems—too fine for Lady’s tracing
To the sightless Knot—
Tucks—of dainty interspersion—
Like a dotted Dot—

Leave my Needle in the furrow—
Where I put it down—
I can make the zigzag stitches
Straight—when I am strong—

Till then—dreaming I am sewing
Fetch the seam I missed—
Closer—so I—at my sleeping—
Still surmise I stitch—


Making My Own Quilt Labels

Something I did last month was rewarding: I joined a quilt guild again.  I am a member of one for a while, then time or distance or a crazy life overtakes me and I forgot and I don’t go. . . but I’ve joined the Raincross Quilters Guild here in my hometown.  When I attended in February, they were having a Round Robin of tricks and techniques and one of them was making your own labels.  I’ll have to try hers sometimes (she had some really good tips), but here’s how I usually do my labels.

Making a Quilt Label 1

Open your word processing program and figure out what you want to say.  Name of the quilt, your name and who quilted it, the date finished (but sometimes I also add when I began to make the quilt) are musts.  I usually add the dimensions, too.  And often I like to add a verse, or a few words about the quilt, especially if it is made for someone else.  I print this off on my Epson printer, because Epson has the best inks.  The preferred printer would have a straight paper path all the way through, but I was in a hurry last time and forgot to check for that, and now it feeds from the bottom tray making a U-turn into the delivery tray.  I can make this one work, but if you are buying a new one, look for that.

Making a Quilt Label 2

I use light-colored fabric for my label–sometimes I use something with a small print.  I cut a shape about 2″ larger than the “label” and iron that fabric to freezer paper.  I tape it to the same paper I proofed the label on, using three pieces of blue painters’ tape.  That way I know the placement of the fabric so it will come out right.

Printer SEttings

I go into the print settings, choosing what I think is thick paper and high quality printing.  The printer will lay down more ink and will go more slowly, and you have a better chance that it won’t distort the fabric. I feed that prepared paper through the printer, then take off the tape, and the freezer paper.  I use a clean sheet of paper and press the label in between folds of paper, setting the inks.

Making a Quilt Label 3

Trim, lining up the ruler with the printed words to keep it square.  I like a bigger border on top (about 1 1/4″) than on the bottom (although sometimes I goof, like today).  I trim 3/4″ out from the sides of the words.

Making a Quilt Label 4

I sew 1 1/4″ strips on all four sides, trimming them up.

Making a Quilt Label 5

Iron the raw edges 1/4″ under, then. . .

Making a Quilt Label 6

. . . pin to the lower left corner of your quilt.  Why there?  Because when people face your quilt, they always seem to go for the right corner to pick up and check for your label, and you don’t want to disappoint them.  Sew it down securely around all the outside edges, and then I also stitch invisibly around the interior of the edge strips on the label, securing it twice.  That’s it!