2018 UFO Challenges

This is the February UFO ( Un Finished Objects) challenge, a quilt top that was donated to me that is well-pieced and pleasant colors, but didn’t feel quite large enough to call finished. So, I auditioned different borders.

I tried this 30s novelty print, and the colors were right, but the scale of the pattern was overwhelming.This one had the right colors, but the scale was also a bit too much.I think this was way too dark.I’m thinking I like this, a nice dark “stopper” border and a delicate dot print in a grayed blue. These colors were a challenge, since it is probably a top from the 80s.Here it is all completed! I am liking the way it turned out. The small dot print border turned out to be a few inches too short, so I took a similar colored fabric that was a windowpane check and finished off one side of the border with it. Can you see it? (Barely?) It is in the upper left hand corner of the quilt. That’s what our Grandma would have done, use what she had.

I think the best part about finishing the quilt is that now I am honoring the work of someone in the past who spent a great deal of time and energy piecing the top together, and now it is a functional and beautiful cozy quilt for someone to enjoy.

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Playing with scraps

It all started with a garbage bag full of scraps. Thousands of scraps. This is a tiny stack of them.I laid them out, processing each of them into the maximum length and width to be the most efficient.I put them into piles to make assembly line sewing faster.I stacked them up next to my sewing machine and went to town.After the addition of each log, I took them to the ironing board and pressed them. The wooden tailor’s claps rested on top of the pressed block to help flatten the seam.Slowly, but surely the stack of 7″ finished log cabin blocks grew.  I have about 80 done here. I thought I was nearly done, but I re-figured what I needed to make a king sized quilt, and I came up with 194 blocks. Whew. I’m not even half way done!I couldn’t wait, so I laid them out on the bed and stood back to admire the quilt in progress.I finally got them all together and put it on the long arm to do the Baptist Fan pattern on the quilt. It is a timeless motif.And here it is done! It’s huge! No borders, just log cabin blocks. It measures 104 x 104.

SO. You think I would have used all the scraps, right? Wrong. They multiplied when I turned my back.I decided to make another quilt with a modified log cabin, where the center is surrounded on 4 sides by another color. Here’s the back side to show that I pieced the logs as much as I needed to to fit the block, and I used colors that were similar if I didn’t have enough of one.I made 2 sizes of blocks, 6″ finished and 12″ finished. Some light centers, some dark centers, anything goes!Then I put them up on my design wall, and I thought it looked pretty good.Here’s the back again to show how I had to patch in 3 pieces of fabric to finish the block. I’m all about using up every thread of fabric!After all blocks were sewn, I had to make a back.  I went right to the stash and pulled out some 15+ year old fabric that worked perfectly for the scrappy look I was after.I quilted it with my favorite Baptist Fan pattern.See how the quilting pulls it all together?  And now it’s done! I don’t have a picture of it with the binding on, but it looks fabulous.  Oh, I used 100% wool batting in both of the quilts, and it is just heavenly.

Do you think I tackled all the scraps? NO. When I wasn’t looking, they multiplied. I have about 1/2 a shopping bag full of scraps. I need to break them down into like units and make another quilt.

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BIG NEWS–This quilt was also accepted at AQS Daytona Beach!!

This is exciting news! The quilt is going to be competing at the AQS Show in Daytona Beach, Florida.  Those girls get around more than I do!! Wish us luck.


Paducah, Kentucky, USA –” Slicing Seven”  (Patt Anderson, Clara Gibson, Wendy Held, Pam Kay,  Kay Laboda, Sally Parrish and Diana Price) from San Diego area are semifinalists for the 2017 AQS
QuiltWeek® – Spring Paducah, Kentucky April 26 – 29, 2017, at the Schroeder Expo & Carroll
Convention Center in Paducah, Kentucky.
Slicing Seven have been chosen to display the quilt, BIRTH OF THE RED, WHITE, AND BLUE, along with
403 others in the annual contest, now in its 33rd year. Three quilting authorities will judge this elite
group in Paducah, awarding first‐, second‐, and third‐place prizes in 16 categories, along with nine
overall awards. Winners will be announced at the 33rd AQS Awards Presentation, which takes
place at the Carson Four Rivers Center in Paducah at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25. Cash awards
totaling $125,000 will be granted, including $20,000 for the Janome Best of Show; $12,000 for the
BERNINA Stationary Machine Workmanship; $12,000 for the AQS Hand Workmanship; $12,000 for
the APQS Movable Workmanship; and $5,000 for the Robert Kaufman Best Wall Quilt. Regardless
of how BIRTH OF THE RED, WHITE, AND BLUE places in the final judging, all semi‐finalists’ quilts will be
displayed at the show, which is expected to draw more than 30,000 people.
AQS Founder and President Meredith Schroeder says, “Extraordinary quilts are being made by
today’s quilters, and the contest quilts represent an extensive variety of styles, sizes, and
techniques. Each quilt in the show is an intricate, creative work of art to enjoy.”
Quilts were entered in this international contest from 44 US states and 14 other countries. Come
see a wide range of special exhibit quilts including: SAQA: Made in Europe; Kona Color of the Year
2016: Robert Kaufman Fabrics; Appliqué Quilts from the Collection of Pat and Arlan Christ;
Cherrywood Challenge 2016: The Lion King; Focus & Fiber: Quilts by Melissa Sobotka; Double
Wedding Ring Quilts: Traditions Made Modern by Victoria Findlay Wolfe; and the AQS Authors’
The American Quilter’s Society hosts several shows annually, each with its own quilt contest.
Besides the Paducah, Kentucky show, AQS hosts other prestigious shows in Daytona Beach,
Florida; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Des Moines, Iowa.
For more information, please go to www.QuiltWeek.com



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Get ‘er done!

One of my goals for 2017 is to finish up as many projects as possible. I started out with seventeen Puss in the Corner quilt blocks from my friend Michele. They were part of a block exchange. Although this is nothing fancy, I just used alternate plain muslin blocks and had this quilt together lickety split! Quilting was simple and fast, and the resulting lap quilt is ready to be put into service. Now I’m working with twenty Puss in the Corner quilt blocks that are blue. I’m setting them on point and will soon have another one to add to the pile.

Happy new year!


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Bow tie quilts

I received a garbage bag full of hand pieced blocks. I have machine pieced the blocks together and have made 5 prayer quilts with them. Here is a sample.dsc01127I LOVE bow tie quilts. It was one of the first quilts I ever made, and I had no idea what I was getting into. My first one had “y” seams and was a real challenge to make, so it was only 24″ square. This one is constructed of hand-pieced blocks that were made by the same person who did the bat blocks, the roman bars and the hourglass blocks. The same fabrics are used in all of them. These blocks finish up at 3 1/2″ and are amazingly well pieced. Notice how the points match perfectly?

dsc01108Look at the crazy back I put on this one. It screams 1980, but so do the bow tie fabrics, so I think it’s a perfect fit!

dsc01124This bow tie quilt is made from 4″ finished bow tie blocks given to me by my friend, Michele. The difference between this one and the previous one is that the backgrounds on the bow ties are all different on this one. I think they are both charming and will provide warmth and comfort to the recipients.

That’s my show ‘n’ tell for the day. I have to get busy and finish a quilt for Christmas now.


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Hand pieced bat blocks

I didn’t know the name of these blocks, so I went to my Encyclopedia by Barbara Brackman, and sure enough, there it was!  Then I did a Google search and found many, many variations on them. There were a few settings to choose from, but I settled on this one. dsc00989These little blocks were hand pieced with brightly colored thread. They finish out at 3 1/2″ I grouped them in 4s by color, then joined them together. Here I am auditioning borders, and I felt this one was too busy.dsc00997Then I started auditioning more borders. . .no. . . no. . . no   dsc00996No, too busy    dsc00992dsc00990No. reminds me of Wonder Bread.

dsc00993No. this doesn’t work either.   I finally settled on a solid red corduroy border with corduroy binding on the bias. It is positively charming, but I failed to get a picture. It was donated to Prayers and Squares. I promise to show completed pictures in the next quilts created from hand pieced blocks.


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Last of the orphans

dsc01100The final installment of my orphan blocks included these four corner stars which were in a straight line. I joined them in a square, added four scrappy borders and a final scalloped border. It turned into a fine table topper. My challenge is complete! I finished up four projects in a short amount of time, used up batting scraps that I had on hand, used backing fabric that was donated, and had a fantastic time with various quilting motifs.

Since finishing these quilts, I was given a garbage bag full of hand pieced blocks 4″ or less in size. I got Roman bars, bat blocks, bow ties, spools, and quarter square triangles.  It is quite amazing how fast a quilt can be pulled together as long as the blocks are done.

Stay tuned for more “Use ’em up” block quilts!

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Orphans no more

dsc00946I think this is called the friendship star. My friend, Sally, gave me 19 of these.  The challenge was to turn them into something wonderful.  I made one more block so I could assemble them 4 across and 5 down.dsc00947Once I did that, I had to audition borders. The black is OK.dsc00946Half square triangles makes it too busy.dsc00951I kind of like the blue on the left, but maybe it’s too busy. The black on the right is too stark. I’m going to settle for the blue on topdsc01018I like the way it turned out. I quilted a moon and stars motif and called it Milkey Way.

I know I spelled it wrong, but it’s too late now. The label is on. I think it will make a very nice baby quilt.


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More orphan block wonders

dsc00934This was one of 17 blocks of it’s kind that were gifted to me by my friend, Sally. The 4-patches in the corners are not so good.  The 9-patch in the center is not so good. But someone took the time to assemble them all together, so my challenge was to make them look as pretty as I could.dsc00933I auditioned all different colors and styles of fabric, but the only ones that really played well were shirtings. So I paired up each of the blocks with a different shirting.dsc00932I added a little pink framer border and a brown outer border. But I didn’t have enough brown border fabric, so I made two 9-patch blocks to go in opposite corners (Lyn Mann says repeat a motif from the main quilt in the border, so I did!).  I used all kinds of flannel scraps for the back of the quilt and some left-over wool batting that I had to piece in 3 places to make it work.

dsc01019It turned into a perfectly marvelous cozy quilt that I am so pleased to have created.

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Orphan blocks saga continues

First of all, I need to correct the name of the orphan blocks I showed yesterday. They are NOT Ohio Stars, they are Sawtooth Stars.

In searching images on the internet, I was particularly inspired by this one.sawtooth-star-quiltI liked the layout, and I had most of the blocks already done. They were a bit of an odd size. They finished at 7  1/4″ square. The flying geese portion was 1  3/4″ x 3 1/2″, not your normal size. I went through my stash and came up with fabric for 8 more blocks to add to the mix. dsc00976dsc00977

Must have some plaid!dsc00978And every quilt needs a spark of blue.

dsc00979The center of this one is an oldie but goodie!dsc00980dsc00981And then a light star with a dark background. . .dsc00982something scrappy is interesting. . .dsc00983And finally, something with rather low contrast.

Now I had to mix them all up and arrange them in rows.


I arranged them in what I thought was a pleasing manor and sewed them together.

Next, I auditioned setting triangles and came up with this nice black print.dsc01001Then I took it a step further and added a thin border of reddsc01002It’s looking good, but one final step, I went to my scrap basket and used only what was in there to create the final border, that in my opinion, MAKES the quilt.dsc01006Wonderful plaids and prints in the same colors used in the blocks.  That’s the secret! Repeat colors 2-3 times in the quilt and don’t get to “matchy-matchy.”

Check out the back:dsc00938This is an OLD Hoffman fabric, but the colors are spectacular for this quilt. It came in two pieces, but in order to make it fit the back I needed to seam it in five places. You can’t really even see them.dsc00937One of the seams was only to add 1 1/2″ to the bottom of the quiltdsc00936And you can see here, I didn’t have any too much extra! Now that’s cutting it close.dsc00945This is a close up of part of the border. Nothing goes to waste!

I finished the binding with 4 different black fabrics. You don’t even notice. I was going to donate this to a charity, but now I think I have to keep it. I love it! It is an inspiration!






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