Author Archives: Marlene

Mexican Star V-3

In 2009 I made a Mexican Stars quilt top from a kit from Sew Batik.

As soon as it was completed I pulled fabric from my stash and made another one.

My plan was to make two more Mexican Stars – one with the stars shading from light to dark on a black background and one with HST instead of the curves.

Fastforward to 2021 and Mexican Stars Version-3 has finally been pieced.  I started with a fat quarter bundle of hand dyed green fabric and an Oriental black background.

This was a cut and sew sort of project to help me keep the greens organized for the transition from light to dark.  Once the center star was pieced, it was time to decide on the sashing fabric.

Umm – no, that sashing fabric won’t work.  I auditioned 4 or 5 different fabrics including golds before deciding on this gray Oriental fabric.

This is the stage of a project where all the doubts and second guessing come in.  What was I thinking?  This is never going to work.  The hand dyed fabric was a terrible idea.

The best thing to do is continue and trust my original vision.

Okay, maybe – just maybe – this will look okay.

Yes! – this is great.  The shading is more subtle than I expected, but I like the overall effect.

Mexican Stars was designed by Annette Ornelas and uses the peeled-back folded fabric technique.  The photo above is before the folded triangles are folded back and stitched down.

As you may have noticed, the second version of Mexican Stars is close to being a finished quilt.  I hope to have all three as completed quilts in the next month or so.

Marlene

Stir Crazy with Two Finished Wall-hangings

The finished Stir Crazy quilt top –

Since I only had one yard of the butterfly fabric and was not going to buy more, it was a bit of a challenge to design the border.  To avoid any seams in the butterfly fabric, I put blocks in the opposite corners with fabric squares in the other two corners.  This is different than the pattern directions, but works for me.  I think Stir Crazy will be a great quilt for one of my grandchildren.

Next on the list was machine quilting the In and Out wall-hanging.  The panto-graph used was a Baptist Fans variation panto-graph named Random Clams.

Once In and Out was completed, I loaded Flower Basket on the frame.

The Flower Basket wall-hanging top was completed in 2018, however since it had wool applique I had it in my head that it needed custom quilting.  But recently I saw a You-tube video of a wool applique quilt being machine quilted with a panto-graph and realized that custom quilting only  was a dumb idea to have stuck in my head.

It took less than an hour to machine quilt it and after three years it is now ready to display.  This is also the first time that I used wool batting, but it won’t be the last.  I could really tell the difference while hand stitching the binding – the needle flowed so smoothly through the batting.

It feels great to have two finishes even if they are smaller projects.  Wonder what new project will be next?

Marlene

Biggy the Bee & Stir Crazy

Isn’t this baby quilt so darn cute?  I am very pleased with the final result, especially the quilting design of bees.

But you know how it is – as one project is finished, you are planning the next four.  My current  project is Stir Crazy by Brenda Henning in her Strip Therapy 2 booklet.

After piecing for the last two weekends, the quilt center is completed.  All that is left is the inner border and a pieced outer border.

The plan is to finish the quilt top today.

Happy quilty week,

Marlene

Rose Garden and Other Quilty News

Rose Garden was completed a week or so ago, but the picture was taken yesterday.  This was the November 2020 Quilty Box quilt and I learned so much about working with odd shaped EPP pieces. 

The quilting design is Flower Festival by Urban Elementz.  The quilted flowers show so nicely against the solid background.

And, of course, all the extra hexagons went on the back of the quilt – makes me smile.

The March mini top from Kim Diehl’s Whatnot Club was finished last weekend.  I added a border to bring the size up to 18″ which works better with the hanger in the dining room.

Working with such small pieces can be a challenge, but I am mostly pleased with my piecing accuracy.  There is always room for improvement, isn’t there?  Hopefully I can get it quilted this week.

Now it is time to reward myself by starting a new quilt.  Here is a sneak peek of the fabrics.

It has been awhile since I have made a red, white and black quilt, so I am ready to get this one started.  Okay, okay – this quilt will technically be red, white, black & gray, but either way the colors make my heart sing.

Happy Easter,

Marlene

Biggy the Bee Completed

Last Sunday I quit sewing with only 6 seams left to do on Biggy the Bee.  The quilt top was finished on Thursday.  Yeah!

I like how bold and graphic this quilt is.  The only thing that I probably should have done differently was to have greater contrast between the grays in the wings.

Biggy is now loaded on the longarm and the plan is to get it quilted this week.

So what have I been working on this weekend?  This year I signed up for the Whatsnot Club from the Fat Quater Shop. 

In and Out is the kit for the third month and my project for this weekend.

Have a good week,

Marlene

Saturday Progress

After checking JoAnn’s, Hobby Lobby and the local quilt store, I finally found the gray & white striped fabric at WalMart.  it was a crazy treasure hunt day, but I got the fabric prize.  It was time to get busy and get this top finished.

Just a few more strip sets and all the triangles will be made.  It takes longer than I anticipated to sew the diagonal rows together.  Sew two triangles together, press the seam open, sew another triangle, press again.

My Biggy the Bee top is almost halfway completed.  Maybe I can get it finished on Sunday.

Happy Quilting,

Marlene

Biggy the Bee

On Friday I made good progress on my Biggy the Bee quilt.

I have two Krista Moser patterns, although this is the first one I have made.  Her directions are clear and concise with lots of illustrations.

It is fun watching this baby quilt come together.  I was planning on completing the top on Saturday, but I discovered that I needed gray/white stripe fabric.  So it is off to the fabric stores first.  What a hardship!

Marlene

Quilty Vacation Days

This is the scene outside the patio windows last Sunday.  My estimate is that we recieved 10 – 12″ of snow.

However Monday’s view is of sunshine and blue skies.  The snow melted quickly and the roads were dry by Tuesday.

Yesterday and today were vacation days, making a four day quilting retreat.  The first goal was to move the EPP Rose Garden top to a finished quilt.

The top was completed last weekend, and I decided not to add any pentagons to the setting triangles.  It was one of those times when the vision in my head did not translate well to fabric reality.  So what did I do with all those pentagons that I had made?  Well I placed them on the back of course!

Rose Garden was loaded on the frame, machine quilted and sleeve/binding attached.  It should only take a day or two to finish the hand-stitching.

Today’s project is Biggy the Bee, a pattern by Krista Moser.

Have a good weekend,

Marlene

Quilting on a Snowy Weekend

For the last three weeks, I have been piecing the Jewel Box quilt from Brenda Henning’s book Strip Therapy 5.   

Don’t those soft pastel batiks glow against the dark plum grunge fabric?  The biggest problem I had with this quilt is that the jelly roll had pinked edges which I find a challenge for accurate piecing. 

All the blocks made, laid out & pinned in place and – as you can see, this quilt is bigger than my design wall.   

The completed quilt top.

I cut the remainder of the block strip sets into 1 1/2″ segments for the second border.  I think it looks like a ribbon running over and under the background fabric.  The best part is that there are no leftovers from the pastel jelly roll.

The other change I made to the pattern was to cut the outer border width at 4 1/2″ instead of 6 1/2″, making the finished size of my Jewl Box is 78″ x 94″ instead of 82″ x 98″.

Now that this quilt top is finished, it is time to load the EPP quilt top Rose Garden on the longarm.

As for the “snowy” part in the title – it started snowing here yesterday evening and is still snowing as I write this post.  So far there appears to be around 12″ of accumulated snow and –  as you can imagine –  I am so happy that I am working from home and don’t need to worry about driving to work tomorrow.

Have a good week,

Marlene

Mount Fuji and EPP Projects

My quilting progress has been slow in February, but I have completed one project.  Mount Fuji is a pattern from the Postcards from Japan series by Helene Knott.  It is intended as an applique wall-hanging, however I decided to use a panel instead.

Mount Fuji Pattern

Postcards from Japan - Mt. Fuji  Pattern - StoryQuilts.com

Mount Fuji – my version

I can’t decide if I am happy with this wall-hanging or not.  I wonder if the light & dark gray was the right choice, maybe I should have looked for green or brown background fabrics.  I also didn’t anticipate how the machine quilting would show up on the moon.  Note to self- machine quilt the outlines in the Mount Fuji panel next time.

I have two more Fuji prints, so I may take one and try this pattern again.  Hmmm  I need to think about that some more.

The hand stitching on Rose Garden is coming along slowly.  Three of the five EPP stars have been stitched to the background – hopefully I will have them all completed this weekend. My plan is to add some pentagons to the setting triangles to add some interest.  Plan A was a partial circle, however it is too tight.  Plan B is setting them in a straight-ish line of one up one down.  I like this a lot better.

I may also add one pentagon to the center of the corner triangles – we will see when I get that far.  Rose Garden needs to be finished since I have already received the next EPP project.

The EPP Quilty Box for January arrived and it was full of lemons.

No, that is not a real lemon in the upper right side.  It is a lemon stress ball.  The project is for bowls which are not my thing, so I will be doing something completely different with them.  But that is decisions for another day.

Have a good evening,

Marlene