Category: Flimsies

Feb 27 2020

Oldest Quilt Tops

I started quilting in the fall of 2001 when my youngest went off to college. The first 5 or 6 years were spent trying out different techniques, designers and fabric combinations to discover what made a Marlene quilt. It wasn’t until sometime in 2007 that I realized that I didn’t know what was where, so I started numbering my quilt tops and keeping a list.

The first quilt top completed in 2008 has the number 2008-1, but how were the quilt tops made between 2001 and 2007 be identified? Going the easy route, they are numbered U-1, U-2, etc.

The goal this year is to machine quilt the remaining 5 U-tops, so it seemed appropriate to have a lineup of the remaining members of the U-tops gang.

U-01 Batik Sampler Quilt

I don’t remember what book or pattern originally inspired this quit, however I do remember substituting a couple of different blocks for the ones in the pattern. The sleeve needs to be hand-stitched down, then U-1 will be a completed quilt.

U-02 Autumn Card Tricks Pattern by Eleanor Burns

Autumn Card Tricks was machined quilted last weekend and is waiting for the binding and sleeve. This top was also on my 2020 UFO list since it had been a quilt sandwich for several years. My definition – quilt tops are not UFO’s, but quilt sandwiches are.

U-05 Shadow Box

Shadow Box was a quilt kit that was purchased (I believe) from Holly’s Quilt Cabin. The fabric designer – Jason Yenter – has been a favorite of mine since this quilt. I like the layering effect that is a trademark of his fabric designs.

U-09

Other than U-09, this quilt does not have a name. Maybe I can find one on the list of Colorado ghost towns.

U-09 was the project of an online quilting class from Quilt University – the only online quilting class I have taken.

U-15 African Courthouse Steps Pattern by Eleanor Burns

As you can see, there were at least 15 quilt tops before I started my current numbering system. I think it is time that these pre-2007 become finished quilts, don’t you? The bottom three are all bigger than my new quilting frame, so I will be getting experience in machine quilting larger tops.

Next post I will have a new project and a finished quilt to share.

Happy Quilting,

Marlene

Jun 16 2019

Periscope

My Periscope quilt top – a free pattern on the Quilted Twins website – is completed.

I made quite a few changes to the pattern while constructing this top from recycled shirts. The first thing I did was scale the block sizes down to 3/4 size. The original pattern finishes at 100″ square which is way too big for me. My Periscope is 75″ square and contains multiple background fabrics (second change to the pattern).

Originally my plan was to go all scrappy, but after I had a few blocks on the design wall I decided it was too chaotic as shown below.

Continuing the background from the Shoofly block out into the Courthouse Steps block gives the top a calmer appearance and more interest. The next design change was to add Hourglass blocks to the center of the Courthouse Steps.

It took some attention to detail to make sure the background was positioned in the Courthouse Steps block correctly, but I think it was worth it. The final change was to the border – instead of piano key borders, I used larger rectangles.

I am glad that this quilt top is finished, but I will admit that it is not one of my favorites. If I was going to make it again with the intent to keep it for myself, I think that I would downsize the blocks again and use a scrappy two color combination. However at this time I have no plans to make another Periscope quilt.

The recycled shirts have been put away and now it is time to let the animals run free.

How do you build an elephant quilt? One stitch at a time.

Marlene

Jun 09 2019

Recycled Shirt Quilt Top

A recycled shirt quilt top was completed over Memorial Day weekend. I know – I am so behind in my blog that it isn’t even funny.

Anyway, the pattern that I used for this quilt top is called Stonehenge Square Dance by Kate Mitchell.

This isn’t the type of pattern that normally catches my eye and to tell the truth, I am unsure why I actually bought it in the first place. However I am very pleased with my recycled shirt version.

It is unusual for me to make a red, white & blue quilt, but it worked with the shirts that I had and was fun to do something different. The stronger contrast and scrappy border are two of my favorite things in my version of Stonehenge Square Dance.

Marlene

Apr 28 2019

Kiss My Stash

Kiss My Stash is an applique kit that I received as a birthday present in 2015. After waiting patiently for four years, it finally became a quilt top last weekend.

I didn’t notice until I saw the picture on the computer screen, but the grid lines from the flannel design wall show through the quilt top.

The pattern is by Sandy Fitzpatrick at Hissyfitz Designs with a finished size of 22″ x 37″. I made three color changes to the design – the cat in the original pattern was brown, however all my cats are grey in memory of Gus. For the flange around the sign I found a piece of orange fabric with brown stripe to represent a measuring tape. I wasn’t all that interested in marking lines on a long piece of yellow strip as the directions said.

The third change was the hands. The pattern had red hands. Really, red hands? I found a nice tan batik in my stash that looks so much better – at least in my opinion.

Once the top is quilted, buttons will be added to the crown points and the shoes. This was such a fun project and makes me smile every time I look at her.

Happy Quilting,

Marlene

Mar 10 2019

Good Fortune Finish

Happy Spring Forward Day – to celebrate losing an hour this weekend, I added the borders to my Good Fortune quilt yesterday.

After staring at the quilt center on my design wall for several weeks, I decided that I really wasn’t excited about sewing all the pieced borders in the Bonnie Hunter’s instructions. So off to the quilt shop I went looking for the perfect border fabric. After many “almost, but not quite right” fabrics, I found this batik for the border.

This close up shows how the batik fabric accents the green turquoise stars while also pulling in the gold from the alternate blocks.

Now that Good Fortune is a completed top, I can concentrate on blocks for Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler. The goal is to make 31 blocks this month, however right now the total is 4. The good news is that March is a long month, so hopefully it will happen.

Marlene

Jan 16 2019

Starry Night Hexies

This was the progress on the Starry Night Hexies a week ago – three half blocks to be made with full & half hexie flowers to be appliqued to the background fabric.

However I was more than ready for this project to get to the quilt top stage, so I focused on the handwork every evening. By Friday night I had the blocks completed and the center sewn together.

As you can see, I ended up moving some of the blocks around. I think that this arrangement gives a more balanced look. After waking up very, very early Saturday morning, the borders were added. First the side borders –

then the top & bottom borders with 4-patch kaleidoscope cornerstones.

The original pattern did not include an inner border or cornerstones, but I like the additional interest they add to my version.

Now I need a new handwork project, but before I can start one there are a couple of pants that need to be mended. Oh joy!

Marlene

Dec 24 2018

Swing Your Partner

One of my year end goals can be marked off the list – Swing Your Partner is a finished quilt top. Friday evening all the sashing and cornerstones were ready for assembly.

And by mid-afternoon Saturday the center of the top was assembled.

All that was left to do was add the borders which happened Sunday morning.

My quilt top measures 83 1/2″ square which is slightly smaller Bonnie’s.

Isn’t it amazing how the same block can look so different depending on the setting? I like all the blue shirts and how calming the quilt feels. It will look great on my bed once it is quilted and bound.

Now I need to get busy on those hexies – they don’t sew themselves. Where are those darn leprechauns when you have year end goals to meet?

Merry Christmas,

Marlene

Nov 22 2018

Battle of the Flower Basket

In between sewing the recycled shirt blocks (8 Swing Your Partner blocks below) I pieced together the Flower Baskets wallhanging from the Primitive Gathering’s book “Little Gatherings”

Before I even started I knew there were two things that I was going to change – make it a bit bigger and have the baskets set on point.  My favorite thing about this wallhanging is the small wool flowers in the basket.

Sewing the baskets was a challenge, but the battle really began with the setting.  After much consideration I decided to treat each basket as a square-in-a-square.  The first block used the same background as the triangles which just looks like a sea of boring.

The second attempt used a different fabric but close to the same color as the background.

More boring and not any help at all.  For the third time (I was starting to feel like Goldilocks & the Three Bears) I found this fabric and it was just right.

Next came the sashing, cornerstone and outer border – The sashing and cornerstone worked, but using the same fabric as the setting triangles for the accent in the border made the whole quilt too pink.  Okay, let’s try the beige background for the border accent.

That is looking a lot better and I like the asymmetrical look.  Now the finishing touch – all the wool flowers appliqued in the baskets and the three cornerstones.

Victory!  My two goals were met with the baskets on point and a size increase from 14″ square to 19″ square.   The goal is to quilt this little beauty up in the next week or so.

Happy Thanksgiving.  May you all be victorious in your quilting battles.

Marlene

Oct 08 2018

Design Wall Monday 10-08-18

While shopping at a local quilt shop, this fabric jumped in my cart and insisted in coming home with me.

I decided to Stack-n-Whack squares and then set them in the BQ pattern by Maple Island.  It took a little bit of figuring to determine the square size in order to make the most efficient use of the fabric, but the cutting & sewing of the 4-patches was quick and easy.

The blocks are 9 1/2″ unfinished, so then it was back to paper and pencil to resize the BQ block which turned out to not be difficult.  The next step was the background fabric.

I decided on a light green background color with a solid black frame.  This involved a trip to the quilt shop to find the right fabric, but soon BQ blocks (14″ unfinished) were popping up on the design wall.

And by lunch time on Sunday all 16 blocks were completed and the quilt top sewn together.

The top measures 54″ square and there is no plan to put borders on it.  This is one of the fastest quilt tops I have made from fabric bought to finished quilt top.  Next up will be 2 more SBS blocks to celebrate another finish.

Check out all the other quilting inspiration at Judy’s Design Wall Monday.

Marlene

Sep 03 2018

Design Wall Monday 09-03-18

Another Cozy Quilt Design – Cotton Rainbow – was completed today.  The piecing of this quilt top was very easy while the challenge was fabric selection.  I think I spent more time deciding on the fabric than it took to sew.

It all started with a jelly roll that almost had the range of colors I wanted.  The pattern calls for five fabrics in six different colorways shading light to dark.  The jelly roll had the light-medium-dark fabrics, but needed two transition colors.

Luckily the first weekend in August was the Denver Quilt Shop Hop and my main focus was finding the fabric to smooth out the shading.  I think I was successful – here are the 16 blocks with the layout suggested in the pattern.

This is just a quick mockup.  If I had decided to go with this layout, I would have distributed the colors better.

But I really didn’t care for the large black holes, so what other arrangement could I come up with?

The first one started with the four blocks in the center surrounded by zigzags.  I didn’t try any more layouts, since I liked this layout.

There was enough leftover from each fabric strip to cut out 3 – 2 1/2″ squares for the middle border.  I sewed them together in the same order they are in the blocks – light to dark – and arranged them around the quilt center.

A black inner border, the pieced middle border and a black outer border was added to the center to end up with this quilt:

The pieced middle border is not in the Cotton Rainbow pattern.  I wanted to add something interesting to the border and use up as much of the strips as I could.  I am pleased with the final result.

Check out all the other quilting inspiration at Judy’s Design Wall Monday.

Marlene