Shadow Owes Its Life To Light

Shadow Light Quilt_detail4

What do you do when the quilt you just finished is too big for your improvised outdoor home photo studio? You try to photograph it anyway.

Shadow Light Quilt_full1Shadow Owes Its Life to Light
Began July 2013 • Finished April 2014

I pieced it, but Cathy Kreter of CJ Designs quilted it.

Shadow Light Quilt_detail3

I’d first seen this in the City Quilter Quilt Shop in New York City, and immediately signed up for the block of the month. It was great fun to have those packages arrive every month for six months.  I kept up pretty well.  Nancy Rink called it Amish With a Twist–II, as it followed her first quilt design in the Amish style.  I blogged sporadically about its progress on this site (and *here* too), as often the work progressed sporadically.

Shadow Light Quilt_detail2

My design wall wasn’t big enough to hold this massive quilt (106″ square) so I pieced it together in sections.

Shadow Light Quilt_detail1

I wrote about the quilting *here* as I really stressed out about which thread to use.

Shadow Light Quilt_detail6 corners

Shadow Light Quilt_detail7

Shadow Light Quilt_detail5

Shadow Light  Quilt_back

And to make this record complete, here is the back.  I used some Jane Sassaman fabric.

Shadow Light  Quilt Label2

I thought about many names.  I halfway thought I’d just keep Nancy Rink’s name for the quilt, but wanted something different.  Certainly, since it has furrows of light and dark, calling it the oft-used “Sunshine and Shadow” would be a possibility.  But I didn’t just want to say it THAT way.  So I found this old proverb: Shadow Owes Its Life to Light, indicating the interdependence between light and shadow.  Not only did I like it because its allusion to the old cliche, but it also had a nicely poetic rhythm to it.

Shadow Light Quilt_full2I vowed after making my son’s king-sized quilt that I’d never make another quilt that large.  Well, I did.  But next time, please come running over to my house and talk some sense into me if I ever even think about making another big quilt.

This is Quilt #130 of my lifetime quilts.


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Amish With a Twist II Update

Amish Quilting

When I returned from our little visit to the East Coast, my quilter called me and said the Amish With a Twist-2 quilt was finished. I was really happy to jet over to her house and pick it up, and was really happy with the quilting.  There was lots of discussion about what color of thread should be used on this quilt, if a person wasn’t going to pay to have it custom-quilted, and needed to travel over both the lights and the darks of the quilt top.

Blush Thread label

I was able to take my quilt top to the Superior Threads quilt booth at Road to California, and run about comparing threads.  They told me that King Tut would sit on top, So Fine would sink a little deeper and that the very fine Bottom Line thread would almost disappear into the quilt.  We unwrapped a billion thread cones (just kidding) and I finally chose this one: Blush.

Blush Thread_Superior

In spite of its name, it is a coppery colored thread, and goes perfectly with this quilt.  I still have oodles of thread left, so check with your long-armer on how much thread to buy.  I know that Superior also has a thread app, available on the Apple iTunes store, that can calculate how much thread you’ll need to buy for your project.  I figure I’m good for about a hundred years of needing copper-colored thread.

P.S.  That wild Jane Sassaman fabric you see it the backing I chose.

P.P.S.S.  I promise a picture when I’ve finished sewing on the miles and miles and miles of binding.


A New Place to Photograph My Quilts

I was looking for a way to hang my quilts just for taking a photo of them.  You saw my old set-up in an earlier post–stapled sheet to garage door, which doesn’t exist anymore.  And while my sister and I were hanging out last week, waiting for her husband to finish getting his cancer treatment, we found clothespin bags, complete with clothesline and pins in Crate and Barrel for cheap.  I bought one and began scheming.

Hook Inside Faschia

Overhanging out house is this fascia board.  My husband put two hooks, about 110″ inches apart, and we strung that clothesline between them, supporting them with two cup hooks, also equally spaced.

Hanging Quilt

Then I got out the steps tool from the kitchen and hung up the quilt myself, as that was one of the criteria for my “studio.”  You can see the line is hidden and just the tips of the clothespins show in the picture.  But we found that this Amish quilt was too tall for the set-up.  It’s about the biggest quilt I’ve ever made, and it dragged slightly on the cement.  Yes, I should have put down the garage door, except right about this time two neighbors came over from two different houses to ask me about this quilt, and how could I interrupt that lovely experience?

As quilters, we are usually holed up in a room upstairs, or a basement downstairs, and only other quilters see our work on Instagram or on blogs.  So, today, this quilt saw the light of day.  I take it next week to go to Road to California to choose some thread.  I’ve had some great suggestions from an earlier post, including thinking about using lavender thread–brilliant!  Thank you all for your great suggestions; I’ll consider them all.


(my bag is similar to this photo, snagged from the web)

After I took off the clothespins, I slipped the clothesline off the hooks and stored it all away until the next time I need to photograph a quilt, and my husband isn’t around to hold up the corners.

Quilt Shows · Quilts

Amish Quilt, in progress


Finished the inner top.  Put on two borders and still have one border to go this gigantic quilt (finishing at 105″ square).  What was I thinking?

AWAT-detail Jan_2014

I was thinking I loved the colors, the sparkle of the brights, and the use of solids.

Quilt Border Fail

This picture is titled Border Fail.  They sent me 2 5/8 yards of Blue Coal (it’s a nighttime photo, so all the colors are wacky), and after dinner I was tired but wanted to push on to finish the quilt.  So I came upstairs and whack, whack, whack started cutting crosswise strips to piece together for the outside border.  After I’d cut about half the strips, I realized they sent me enough to do a lengthwise cut for that outside border, which would really stabilize the quilt.  I slumped into my chair, and yes, got all teary about how dumb I was.  I was tired.  My husband said some “there, there, theres” and I ordered a new swath of Blue Coal from an online shop, which should be here by the end of next week.

Lessons learned: husband is a gem, mistakes can be made, especially if I’m tired, and beware of cutting after dinnertime.  I’d already put on the first inner border, and the little squares border.  Now that’s an exercise in frustration.  Those squares NEVER fit, so you go back in and stitch another 1/16″ of a seam on a few squares, inching it down to fit. If you want to see what I’m working toward, here’s a photo of Amish With A Twist–II:

AWAT2_someone else's

Here’s Amish with A Twist–Version I, and it’s really big, too.AmishWithATwist2011

Found this on the web when I went searching for ideas on how to quilt my quilt.  Which won’t be done until NEXT week now.

So the center of my version, Amish With A Twist-2,  is this lighter set of fabrics, so that would call out for beige or cream or light gray or something.  But then the outer is darker, so that indicates black or dark gray.  And I’m having this done by my long-armer, and to keep it affordable, I’ll probably do an edge to edge design.

AWAT1 quilting

This quilter had hers done in colorful variegated thread, which she showed on another page.  That’s certainly an option, as it does melt into the light-colored fabrics.  But I’m not too crazy about how it looks on the dark black.  My version doesn’t have that dark black thing, so maybe it will be okay.  What would you choose?  Road to California is coming up in a couple of weeks and I can pick up some Superior Thread there.  Any ideas?

Road to California Logo

And if you are going to Road to California, want to try for a meet up–say Friday, late afternoon?  That will give the out-of-towners time enough to get there, and by then, I’ll be ready to call it done for the day.  If you are going, leave a comment, and we’ll figure out a place.  Possibly near the ice cream cones.  Or cookies.


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Quilts · WIP

WIP Wednesday

I seem to be on an Amish trend.  First the book announcement and a round-up of my Amish quilts, and then with this WIP Wednesday, news of my Amish With A Twist-2 BOM status. I was sailing through these monthly chapters of fabric and pattern until this one: twenty-eight blocks, all log cabin style.

AWAT2 cards

I got out my trusty swatch/color helper and started cutting.  I had to add a bunch to my cards to keep them current, one selvage snip at a time.


At first I was confused, with what they wanted, then I figured it out.  They want a TOTAL of 28 strips, in a variety of the colors listed.  I did my math, and figured out that would be about 4 strips of each different color, in the dark color way and a different number in the medium color way, so lined them up on the board and started cutting.


And cutting.

AWAT2 centers Log Cabin

I sewed the centers together, then did one complete round of strips.  They look kind of cool lined up here, I think.


I assembled them in kind of a log-cabin-block arrangement, just trying to get the visual.

AWAT2-Log Cabin Blocks1

And finally–twenty-eight blocks completed.  I have eight more to go in a different coloration, then assemble and finish.


I’m also working on the #friendshipxandplusswap showing up on blogs and instagram; there are quite a few of us who have paired up, decided on the number of blocks, and are going at it.  In October I was supposed to send my partner two blocks (we make four and send off half), and in November, four.  Well, here’s a part of November’s, I still owe October’s and December is right around the corner.  We all plan to blog on the last Friday of the month, so if you are not entertaining a turkey-pumpkin-pie hangover from the day before (American Thanksgiving), and can head back around, you’ll see some more of these blocks.



Next WIP rattling around in my head comes from when Leanne announced the theme for our next Four-in-Art challenge: Structure.  So when I was visiting my sister and her husband at Cedar-Sinai hospital this past week, I took some photos to get me in the mood.  They have very cool structures there, in terms of modern, angular buildings.  But it’s their art on the inside which is swoon-worthy. (That’s another post).

Santa and His Squares

Here’s the Big Kahuna of WIP projects, and the deadline is fast approaching.  I have now received all the 12″ squares from my bee mates.  Now to find the hyper-overdrive-Christmas-blast of energy to get it done!  I’ve not arranged these yet how I want them, but I love seeing them and all the signature squares,  up on the pinwall.

I could bore you with more, but I think that’s more than enough.

Linking up with Lee of Freshly Pieced.

WIP on


Amish With a Twist 2–progress

Amish With A Twist 2 Blocks

Today I’m all caught up with my Amish With A Twist-2 Block of the Month program with the completion of these four, plus the components shown below.

AWAT2 Blocks

I think these will eventually become part of the center star.

AWAT2 cards

I’d be lost without my color sample cards–I snip off a bit of selvage and write the name on it (and underneath) along with the color number.  It REALLY helps.

AWAT2 blocks cut out

I also cut each block’s pieces all at once, then store them inside the pattern, all folded up for when I can get to the sewing.  Done in parts, this quilt will be manageable, I think.


Check back tomorrow for our Four-in-Art Challenge Art Quilt Reveal!  I’m pretty excited about it, having seen bits and pieces of my fellow quilters’ works.  In addition, if you are a Schnibbles fan, Sherri and Sinta will have our newest Schnibbles on display, plus let us know what the next quilt will be. (Here’s mine!)

But today, I’m linking up to Lee’s Freshly Pieced for Works In Progress Wednesday.

WIP new button