Category Archives: Process Pledge

Madrona Road Challenge Finish

After mulling over it for a few months – we’ve known about the challenge for a while before we even got the fabric – Wednesday night I got my vision for my Madrona Road Challenge piece. It is pieced using the wonky nine patch technique which Oh Fransson explains really well here.

Madrona Road Challenge
The Madrona Road Challenge is a national challenge with guilds across the US participating. There’s no “winner” but it’s a fun way to get folks thinking creatively. The Columbus Modern Quilt Guild’s guidelines were to do something on the Stars and Stripes theme, and have it at a max of 30×30 inches.

Madrona Road Challenge
We were given 7 fat eighths to work  with and I used every last scrap. I had a few triangles left from the front and I used those to make the smaller star on the back.

The only way I may have deviated was that you weren’t supposed to add any prints that weren’t the Madrona Road line. I used a linen-look-alike fabric from Robert Kaufman that has the linen cross-weave drawn onto it, so it looks like a linen solid.

Madrona Road Challenge

As you can see, it’s snowing really heavily right now – it’s so pretty out! I just shoveled my front step and it’s already buried. Such is life.

Madrona Road Challenge

I ran out of fabric for the binding so had to sneak in some solid blue corners. I think I like the look! I hand-sewed the binding which I never do and it even took me a minute to remember how but I think it turned out. It is nice and puffy compared to machine sewn binding.

Matt came in while I was hand-sewing the binding and asked in great shock – “Why are you hand-sewing it!!!” I think he thought my sewing machine was broken. I actually enjoyed the process but I don’t think I’d do it for a larger than 30×30 quilt.

Madrona Road Challenge

Once again, I think I might like the back more than the front! Madrona Road Challenge

To see the other awesome quilts that folks are making for this Challenge, check out the flickr pool – it’s already making me re-think my choices! I love them all!

Scrappy Trip Along Works in Progress

So, I generally pride myself that I am pretty good at not starting a million projects at once, instead focusing on a few at a time. This is mainly because I don’t have room to store a million projects and because a lot of stuff I do is for a client or has a deadline associated with it.

Brown Chevrons

I have even started trying to use up my scraps from a project immediately after a project. For example, I had some half square triangle leftover (I saved those dog ears that I cut off to make these shooting star blocks) to make this chevron (zig zag, etc) quilt section. However, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to use it as part of a larger quilt (say set into a twin sized field of white) or finish it up as a baby quilt.

So it’s been hanging on the wall for a while. I also started two Scrappy Trips Around the World Quilts. I have a pretty epic selection of old scraps that my dad got for me at a country auction once. I have been thinking for months that I need to use them up and so I started this one – pretty scrappy.
Ugly Fabric Close Up!

Many of the folks doing these quilts (and there are a lot of them) are using scraps they have fond memories of. All these are scraps someone else had fond memories of before they sold them at an auction to my dad for $5.
Scrappy Trip Along

Halfway through this one, I got the idea to do a subtle rainbow version, so I started a second. These blocks are really fast and they are especially fast if you are doing them in serious bulk.
Rainbow Scrappy Trip Along
I used a fancy shiny high thread count sheet (from a thrift store) for the backing of this one. It’s a little (ok a lot) puckery, but I’m happy with it.
Rainbow Scrappy Trip AlongRainbow Scrappy Trip Along

The quilting pattern is from Nan Moore. Not sure how well you can see it, but it has a lot of flowers, feathers and loops.

However, last night when I sat down to finish the quilting, the next thing I knew I had started this Eric Carle Quilt. I love Eric Carle and wonky stars. IMG_6613

So, in short (ha) I have a lot of works in progress this week. I’m linking up to other folks who just might understand…

Winners! And Bathing Your Quilts

Binding pile. Four shades of turquoise.

I put some turquoise binding on my newest rainbow quilt, I have fancy pictures in the fancy camera but it’s Sunday morning and I don’t want to drag it out. It’s four shades of turquoise kona cotton. I like the subtle variation.

And I randomly selected some winners of my Sew Mama Sew Giveaway – yikes, 350 comments! There were sooo many awesome jokes, it was a delight checking in every few days. I was surprised how many folks said they don’t know any jokes – well y’all – I ALWAYS have many jokes on hand, day or night. You could run in my house in the middle of the night and wake me up and demand a joke and I’d say, “Penguin walks into a bar and says, ‘Have you seen my brother?” and the bartender says, “I dunno, what does he look like?” or maybe I’d just say, “Aah! How do you dial 9-1-1?”


What’s red, white and black?

A zebra eating licorice !

I took me a minute to figure this joke out – I was thinking it was black licorice and so where was the red coming from? Blood? In my house, red licorice is called “Twizzlers.” I seem to remember a zebra joke about “black and white and red all over” that has a more gruesome ending. Anywho, the best jokes take a minute to puzzle out, in my humble opinion, so I love it!

Knock Knock
Who’s there
Lion Who
Lion on your doorstep, please let me in!

And I’m so happy a knock knock joke won, cause yeah knock knock jokes!
Bucket of quilt, water, woolite and a dash of vinegar.

Ok, so here is me washing a quilt. I have taken to hand washing my signature quilts in a big green bucket. This is a queen sized quilt, it’s in a very big bucket. I throw in some Woolite and some vinegar, which supposedly helps set ink and certainly doesn’t hurt anything. Then I toss it through the spin cycle in the washer and into the dryer.

Fascinating, hmmm??

How I Machine Sew Binding

I won’t bore you with a bunch of stuff about binding from start to finish. There a lot of great places to learn about binding, like from Jaybird Quilts or from Sew Happy Geek. I just have one thing to sort of add to the conversation.

I machine sew my binding on. Some people hand-sew it, and I’m sure that’s great, but eh, not for me. Generally, people say that when you machine sew your binding, you should sew it onto the back of the quilt, and then fold it over to the front.

Machine sewing Binding to the front

Here’s where I’ll toss out my opinion: Instead, I sew my binding onto the front of my quilt, and then fold it over to the back. I use binding clips to secure the binding every few inches.

Then, I insert in straight pins between the binding clips, double checking that the binding on the back is caught in the pin.  I like the combination of the two more than one or the other. I usually only stick in 3-4 pins at a time as I go along.

This allows me to sew right along the binding, and the stitch on the front just fades into the seam. I generally use a 60 wt. thread (YLI Soft Touch currently), but sometimes I use a heavy thread, like Aurifil Lana Wool Thread, if I want the stitching to be part of the quilt design. You can probably also use an invisible thread if you like, though I have never done so.

The purple binding above is a 2.5 inch binding. I used the white thread on the top, and purple thread to match the binding in the bobbin.

Here is the front of a quilt I used red wool Aurifil thread on:

Machine Sew Binding

On this quilt (which I believe has 2.25 inch binding), I have sewn right along the edge of the binding with a light weight thread. After crinkling in the wash, you can’t hardly see it:
Machine Sew Binding

Here’s the back of the same corner of that quilt, you can see where the bottom thread is not 100% even with the edge of the binding, but it is pretty close.

Machine Sew Binding

Another note, before attaching binding, I usually do a long basting stitch all around the quilt to secure and flatten the edges, just under a quarter inch. When finished, the binding covers this stitch. In the top image with the purple binding, I played with doing this stitch a half inch from the edge so it was visible. I’m not crazy about the effect, but it’s not a dealbreaker…

My binding isn’t perfect (hahaha), but this is the best way I have found to efficiently create binding that gives me the look I prefer. Any other tips for doing binding? I’m pretty much self taught, so if I’m doing something horribly wrong here, let me know!

Uh-Oh, OSU Quilts

At our last Columbus Modern Quilt Guild meeting, we swapped fabric and made each other wrist pincushions.
Columbus Modern Quilt Guild Wrist Pincushion Swap!
Look how cute! My partner gave me red and black fabric, which I thought was very fun and dramatic, but it was pointed out to me that they are OSU colors. And then, I accidentally made a pair of scarlet and gray quilts.

I say “accidentally” because I meant to make the quilt on the left as a backing for the quilt on the right. But I ended up liking the left quilt better, so I made two more backs. I really like those a lot too, but decided not to let this turn into four quilts.


And, I swear I liked scarlet and gray before I moved to Columbus.

Regardless, these quilts feature some fun Reunion fabric and lots and lots of gray scraps. Almost all of them, actually, the last slivers are in the binding.

Which I still need to put onto one of the quilts…

And then I will list them in my Etsy shop
I used Auriful wool thread to add some detail to the quilting and to attach the binding. I really like how it pops! I am tearing through my free sample of this thread and thinking I might need to pick some up…It runs through the machine great, though I only used it in the top thread…have you seen the amazing deals on Aurifil on this website?

I also put a patch and shipped out this red and white quilt this week for a high school graduation. How sweet is that? I’m quite a good speller normally, but spelling into the embroidery machine terrifies me and I lose all perspective on letters. Hopefully this actually says something and isn’t just gibberish…

And now I am linking up to other quilters on Freshly Pieced! 

Things That I Will Make Happen!

Time for some goal setting. Basically a list of all the projects that I have on the burner for this quarter of quilting. I am joining up with this Finish A-Long. And while I’m at it, Freshly Pieced. This process reminds me of when I used to work for Americorps and had to put together quarterly reports on all our regional projects, except way less typing, nagging, and/or weeping over broken printers at 2 am is involved.

First, I need to finish this into something for my soon-to-be world’s cutest niece: A Walk In the Woods Cathedral Window Block

Matt’s sister is also expecting, but he wants to make quilt one “himself” (which actually he did make most of the quilt for his sister’s first amazing little champion, though he wasn’t in grad school then…).

I want to finish this thing:

Options for Triangle HST Reunion by Moda Quilt

And this thing:

Sew Happy Geek Quilt Along - Top is finished

These fabrics are fresh-dyed blue and gray, and I would like to at least get them ironed, maybe quilted…. Fresh Dyed Blues and Grays








I bought this fabric in December to make my friend Jenny a Christmas present. Dammit. Fabric for a Laptop Bag...

And promised to make this into a fundraiser quilt for awesome social justice group SOCM in JanuaryFundraiser quilt for SOCM.

Aaaaaand, this signature quilt is for a high school graduation in May…so, it will probably need finished before May… Signature Quilt

Cathedral Window Block

A Walk In the Woods Cathedral Window Block

I found – and finished ! – this block. Here I have photographed it in front of something that looks like barnwood, because I love Regretsy.  I really love the colors!

As an obsessive process point – the windows are a little wonky because my squares I started with were not exactly, exactly square. I thought, eh, what’s a smidge here and there? It’s a lot, people. But not enough to scrap the block.

I am thinking of making it into something for my new little niece that will be born in June (!!!!). But that got me thinking that maybe having the little white Red Riding Hood in the front and center block isn’t the greatest, since my niece will not be white. Not that she will care, but I care that my very first gift to her doesn’t include a picture of a cute little girl who doesn’t look like her.

Does any know of any adorable designer fabric with little brown skinned girls? I imagine it’s not exactly something you can type into google search, without getting some distressing results… As a side note, not that it’s my business, but for the record, the designer of the fabric above is actually a woman of color.

Pretty Little Lost Projects

Sooo, I’m so excited to say that I won a fat quarter bundle of A Walk In the Woods courtesy of Happy Quilting Melissa (who has an adorable baby, among other amazing quilting talents) and the Fat Quarter Shop. Excited? Delirious? I don’t normally win things. This was basically better than that kabillion dollar lottery prize everyone is fussing about.

I have a whole list of quilting goals which are written on a whiteboard above my desk. HOWEVER, when this fabric arrived in the mail, what choice did I have but to cut straight into it, to prove that it was real, and really mine? I have been wanting to make a Cathedral Windows block since, umm, I think in 2002 I saw it in a book and put it on a quilting to-do list…So, better late than never!

It’s about half done…I wanted to get some better pictures of this, but I can’t find it now…no really, just looked for about 10 minutes…hilarious to lose a block that features Little Red Riding Hood, right? Ehhhh…my office/sewing room isn’t that big, I’m sure it will turn up…in the mean time, this is the only shot I have of it:

Walk in the Woods Cathedral Windows

For the record, he is yawning, not threatening to bite me. If he was mad, you’d see a blur of white and pink paws.

I am also working out how to border my HST Seam Showing Quilt, to make it twin-ish sized. Thinking deep thoughts. I think I have a date with this project tomorrow. Stained Glass next steps

As always (ok, sometimes) I am linking this up to Freshly Pieced Work In Progress Wednesday!

Rearranging Triangles

I love that stage in working with Half-Square Triangles (HST’s in quilt language) where you can totally change your design and make all kinds of crazy patterns.

Like diamonds!

Options for Triangle HST Reunion by Moda Quilt

Or some kind of flying geese/chevron hybrid!
Options for Triangle HST Reunion by Moda Quilt

Or maybe a more centered diamond. Yesss….
Options for Triangle HST Reunion by Moda Quilt

I wanted these to look like stained glass, or more quiltily – like when you hold an unfinished quilt top up to the light and you can see all the seams. I love the way that looks, and am trying to replicate it.

The problem with these lovely triangles is that it makes me want to make ALL THE QUILTS! Too many options can be a bit crippling?

My fabric is Moda Reunion line – which is very trendy, let me tell you! With good reason, because it is so nice. Lots of grays and mustards and chartreuses and bricks, which are the best colors as of the last year or so, don’t you agree?

I’m linking up to other people creations at Sew Modern Monday and Sew Happy Geek. I’d love if I can get this top finished by next week – not quilted or anything!  So I am pledging it via One Thing One Week.