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.


From time to time you will see ads on my blog.  I receive no money from them; my blogging software puts them on here so I can use their blog platform for free.


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.


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


Amish With A Twist Progress

AWAT2_Flying Geese

I’ve been working on the Amish With A Twist, Series Two, and I’m happy to say I am all caught up now.  Above is Flying Geese.


Bowtie was next.

AWAT2_Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone, and I while I should re-do a join here and there, I’m not.  I looked at the big quilt again (I’m always looking at that picture) and I really believe a seam that is a quarter-inch off won’t be noticed.  It’s like a metaphysical thing: I know it’s a 1/4-inch off, so therefore I am peace with my block, peace with the piecing, and at one with the world.  Whatever.  I’m not unpicking it.

AWAT2-Mosaic Star

I had to make five of these Mosaic Stars, but that was nothing like the first batch where I made twelve blocks with umpteen little pieces in it.

AWAT2_Trueing up

Tips for the blocks?  True up the inner pieces.  That almost sounds a bit metaphysical as well, but I’m referring to trimming off those stray bits of the inner units before you build the bigger block, if you want to be happy.  I didn’t do that with Rolling Stone (but lets not go there again).

Jacaranda Tree

We just finished the jacaranda blooming season, and I thought I’d show you this photo my husband took on one of his bike rides, the tree in full bloom.  I love these trees.

BW fireworks1

We have had my son and his family here over the July 4th holiday, when we got together with some friends and ate some barbeque, saw some fireworks, and hung out as much as possible.  It is wild–their family of four girls (ages 2 through 10) likes nothing better than a party–but they seemed to be surviving the boring old grandparents.

Red White Blue Quilt

  (Info on quilt found *here.*)

Hope you had a great Fourth as well.

Creating · Good Heart Quilters

Block of the Month: Starts and Re-starts

AWAT2 Strip Sets

I’ve been working on Amish With a Twist–part II, having sewn up some strip sets before I went under the knife for foot surgery, then cut them apart:

AWAT2 Strip Sets Cut

While this is how the pattern recommended we proceed, but when sewing them together I found lots of repeated colors.  Think carefully about where you sew your lights and mediums, trying not to have the same order of colors from bottom to top, otherwise you’ll find yourself with the problem I have below:

AWAT2 blocks2

So yes, today I’ll be unpicking and re-stitching in order to break up the two yellows.  What you see up on my pinwall is where I got a bit smarter and laid out the strips and the stars and the sets, and could mix and match before sewing them up in a rush.

AWAT2  blocks1

Actually, when you open that first package, I’d recommend making yourself one of these:

AWAT2 Swatch Card

A swatch card.  I wrote the name of the color on each clip of selvage, then also coded them as to whether the pattern designer considered it a “medium” or a “light,” as shown by the pink or yellow lines next to the swatch.  While it was true that I was cutting these out while hanging out with my three younger grandchildren, and I was trying to follow the plots of their multiple episodes of Witches of Waverly Place streaming down on Netflix as their mother took a nap, I was also pulling out my hair over which color was which.  The pattern does include a color chart, but as we all know, print colors can vary from actual colors.  So, do your best to sort out which is what color and go forward.

I’m past the initial confusion and aside from the bit of re-stitching I’m going to be doing in a minute, I’m enjoying this process.  I’ve never done a Block of the Month (BOM) before, and it’s kind of fun to get a package and a pattern on your doorstep.  It is fun to pick and choose colors in the fabric shop, I admit, as well as patterns and ideas, but this summer, given all the sturm und drang (aka “storm and stress”) of the surgery, family trips, and other sundry complications in my world, it will be nice to have part of the creative process simplified.  This is my inspiration (the finished quilt top) and I look at it often:


Hopefully, if I stay on track and don’t get too far behind (yes, I’m three blocks behind already!) I’ll have a gorgeous quilt like this one.


Zucchini Cranberry Walnut Bread

On a side note: for those of you with tons of zucchini in your gardens, I finally got a handle on an interesting zucchini bread recipe, with dried cranberries and walnuts.  Recipe *here.*