Turkey Tracks: Playing With Fabric “Crumbs”

Turkey Tracks:  December 21, 2015

Playing with Fabric “Crumbs”

What do you do with small pieces of quilting fabric that are too small to use in something like a strip or a square?

I learned from Bonnie Hunter to call them “crumbs,” and to use them.  Quilting fabric is now around $12 a yard and the width has shrunk from 44-45 inches to 40-42.  (How greed can kill an industry.)

Like Bonnie, I throw these pieces in a bag and when it gets full, I start a project that uses them.  I also throw in large trimmed pieces that have been already sewn together.

(At the very least, you could use these scraps to stuff a dog or cat bed…)

Here’s my ongoing “crumb” project:


Some of the pieces are larger, but would not cut into a 2-inch square.  I don’t cut into 1 1/2-inch squares because they would be too bias stretchy.  I use 1 1/2-inch strips to form small squares.

I played with making fabric from the crumbs–which was kind of interesting.  And you could cut squares out of a piece like this and use the remainders to form more blocks.  If you use those blocks as a center with sashings around–or as a center to a larger pieced block, you’d have an interesting quilt.


Right now, though, I’m interested in creating sashings.  So here’s my growing pile of sashings:


I cut my large piece of “made” fabric into diagonal strips measuring 2 2/1 inches wide.  I use a backing piece of paper to sew these sashings and then I trim them up on the cutting board.  I can sew strips together to get the length I want.

I’m thinking of using these with this block, which you’ve seen before:


Stay tuned…

So, I warn you…

This kind of “play” is addictive.

Turkey Tracks: The Two-Inch Bin is Empty!!!

Turkey Tracks:  August 22, 2015

The Two-Inch Bin is Empty!!!



Can I tell you that there were 6720 squares in that bin.  And note that it’s a SMALLER bin (13 by 8 by 5 inches deep) than I usually use.

Who knew there would be THAT MANY squares in that bin???

Now I have what I think of as “assets”:  1680 finished four-patch blocks.

Note that I use Bonnie Hunter’s Stash Management system to manage my stash, and you can read all about that in any of her books and on her blog, quiltville.com.

One part of that system is to cut leftover fabric from making a quilt into useable sizes that work together mathmatically AND to do something with a bin when it gets full.

I have spent the summer sewing these squares into light/dark four-patch blocks.  And that effort started with the American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine‘s challenge to work with four-patch blocks this year.

I was inspired, also, by Bonnie Hunter’s quilt block, as she is doing this APQM challenge.

So, at first I made Bonnie’s block.  (Bonnie’s background is aqua–which is so lively and pretty.)


AND, Bonnie’s sashing is AWESOME!!  (I went ahead with my rich magentas BEFORE I saw what Bonnie opted to do.)


I can’t wait to see what she does with the cornerstones, to see the finished quilt, AND to buy whatever book into which she puts this quilt.

(To follow her progress with this challenge, go to her web site, quiltville.com, click on the blog button, and search for the APQM challenge.

I put the final border on my quilt yesterday–after sewing the LAST FOUR-PATCH BLOCK–and am working on the backing now:


And of course I will have to make Bonnie’s version since I love her strip-pieced sashing so much.  That will take 150 of my 4-patch blocks.  A drop in the bucket of my assets.

I have some of these already started–and the corners are from the 3 1/2 inch block bin–which has gone down considerably with the use of Bonnie’s block.


I am very excited about doing a Jacob’s Ladder in blue/neutral.  I was able to carve out quite a few of those blocks:


And could not resist putting two together to see the result:


I have this great winter blue-jay fabric that I can use for a backing for a blue/neutral quilt.

AND, the mixed blocks would make up beautifully in a Jacob’s ladder with a constant setting for the half-square triangle blocks.

I also carved out some red and neutral blocks.


What if I turn this block straight?  The lines would then be on the diagonal…



This block came from Lissa Alexander, whose quilt was featured in the APQM article on the four-patch challenge.  I made a baby quilt recently using this block if you want to see a finished quilt:  Happy Baby Quilt.”

I have some green and neutral blocks–but not a whole lot.



Could this green-based block fold into the red-based quilt???

And, somehow, I seem to have gotten started on Bonnie’s current block in the September/October 2015 issue of Quiltmaker magazine:  Criss Cross.


They are fun, but I’ve had a little trouble translating directions to the Easy Angle Ruler AND with the given size for conventional cutting of a large square into four triangles.  I’m wondering if there is a mistake?

I’ve solved it for myself however.

So far, there are a minimum of five quilts out of these blocks…


Quilting Information: Red Flannel Pantry Blog’s Modern Table Runner

Quilting Information:  January 4, 2014

Red Flannel Pantry Blog’s Modern Table Runner

I’ve not been drawn to making a table runner.

Until now.

Take a look at Red Flannel Pantry Blog’s hostess gift for the family who will host the family’s daughter (in Ireland, lucky girl) for a semester:  hometown gifts for out-of-town hosts | red flannel pantry.

And what a terrific gift!

I can see myself making a table runner like this one…

Yes I can.

I would choose different colors–though I LOVE these colors together.  They just would not go in my house.  They might go in someone else’s though–as a gift.

This table runner lies in the “modern” quilt movement:  bits of piecing combined with big sections of plain fabric that can showcase quilting.

If I could start all over, I would move in this “modern” direction:  spare lines, different colors than I’ve surrounded myself with my whole life, pottery, candles, woven rugs, simple, simple, simple.

I do love red and green though…

And blues and oranges and reds…

I am a true Pisces it seems…


Turkey Tracks: String Symphony Quilt

Turkey Tracks:  February 24, 2012

String Symphony Quilt

One set of scraps I’ve saved for the past 10 years or more now are strips of fabrics that are at least 1 1/2 inches wide.  For the past two months, I’ve been making WONDERFUL! quilts with these pre-cut scraps–as you can see on this blog.

What to do with these strips though?

I had been thinking for years of a log cabin quilt, so I tried a traditional block, as I love those, but the initial block was tedious to make and dull.  I knew I’d go quite mad if I started down that road…   Besides, I wasn’t sure I had enough lights and darks to make a log cabin quilt work well.  Here’s that block:

What about a string block?  I cut 6 1/2 muslin blocks and started strip and flip sewing a few, which you can see untrimmed here.

Four blocks together looked interesting.  The mixed colors worked quite well together…

Now what?

Float the blocks in a print?  Maybe surround the block with a fabric that is solid or appears solid–much like Kaffee Fasset likes to do with a wild print?  Here’s a block surrounded with one of Kaffe Fasset’s fabrics.  I set in 9-patch squares along the sides and into the strip above the big blocks.  If I could change anything, it would be to use a bolder fabric to edge the blocks–one that blended more with the background fabrics.  A brighter block edging that also faded into the background print with the 9 patches.

Here’s the finished quilt, which I called “String Symphony” because the quilt plays music your heart can hear.  It “sings.”

Here’s the back (another fabulous Kaffe Fasset!) and the binding is an orange and pink polka dot fabric that works with both sides:

I love this quilt!  It’s a very happy quilt.  And, it’s my 74th quilt.

I used up most of the fabric strips and have already started saving more as I continue quilting.  And I have about 5 single blocks left over.   HMMMM….   I wonder if I could make placemats…

Turkey Tracks: Let There Be Light

Turkey Tracks:  October 12, 2011

Let There Be Light

I keep forgetting that I’ve never put a picture of one of my favorite quilts on this blog.  I think it was among the most challenging quilts I’ve ever made, and I think it turned out well.  I designed it myself and drew some of the patterns, including the border, on Electric Quilt.  The quilt is made from a New York Beauty block, and I was inspired by any number of published quilters who have worked with this traditional block.  I remember the first time I saw a New York Beauty quilt years ago and how excited I was about making one myself.

The quilt is heavily quilted, with many different threads.  And, heavily beaded around the borders, as if the center is throwing light out to the edges.  Sarah Ann Smith took a picture of it–she’s got really good lights, etc.  But I can’t get the picture any bigger than this one without distortions.

Here’s the best I can do in my studio–and my camera distorts from top to bottom anda the colors aren’t right.  The splashes of bright green are lost, for instance.

Here’s a piece of the quilt–I used it to make my “business” card.  I put business into quotes as I don’t have any business to advertise.  We don’t really call these cards “calling cards” anymore, but I do give mine out to everyone I meet who seems as if they might be interested in some facet of this blog.  By the way, Vista Print makes beautiful cards for practically free.  I put this image on the front of the card, chose a coordinating color for the back, and put my information on the back.  Quilters could make different cards from details from different quilts pretty inexpensively.  When I reprinted my cards last month, I opted for GLOSSY on the front, and I really like it.

Here’s a close-up of the little version of the New York Beauty block:

 You can just see some of the beading, but even through it’s heavy, it’s also quite subtle.

I love this quilt.  I kept it, and it hangs in my quilt room!

I hung it in the judged section of the Pine Tree Quilt Show three years ago, and it only garnered a third.  I was terribly disappointed because I thought it was a first for sure, especially since Pine Tree judging is supposed to be about the merits of a quilt on its own, not in comparison to any other quilt in a curved judging event where percentages are considered for firsts, seconds, etc.  That’s judged quilting for you, though.  As much as people have tried to make quilt judging fair, it is terribly subjective, and the colors in this quilt are…different.  This quilt was a watershed for me.  I decided that I make quilts because I love to make quilts–good ones that are exciting and fun.  I don’t need someone else to tell me they’re wonderful because I know each one is, even when something has gone wrong along the way.

Turkey Tracks: Dianne Hire’s Quilts

Turkey Tracks:  December 16, 2010

Dianne Hire’s Quilts

Dianne Hire came to visit with Coastal Quilters during their December monthly meeting.  She has a new book out, and we wanted to see it and some of her quilts that appear in it.

Dianne Hire is a nationally recognized quilter and teacher.  Her quilts have hung in major shows, like Houston and Kentucky.  Some are in permanent collections, like Houston.  We are so lucky that she lives nearby, in Northport. 

Her new book VIVACIOUS CURVY QUILTS came out in October:

Here’s the quilt from the cover:

Here is a picture of a quilt that uses the curved piecing method Dianne’s book teaches:

Isn’t it wonderful?  So lively.

Here’s a picture of this quilt hanging beside a quilt that has hung in numerous major shows:

Dianne also showed us a work-in-progress quilt that will be a masterpiece, a large quilt that will make a huge statement in the world of quilting.  I hesitate to show the whole top or even parts of it as I’m superstitious and because I’m not sure she’s ready to reveal this work at this stage.  But, hold your breath because it’s an amazing, delightful, intricate, colorful quilt.  And, quite different from her other work.  Dianne says this quilt has been living in her head for about 14 years.

I fell in love with a border she developed in her first book,  QUILTERS’ PLAYTIME:  GAMES WITH FABRICS.   Here’s a picture:  it’s the black and white border to the left of the quilt:

But, my interest was still bubbling at the meeting.  It wasn’t until I went home that I realized I really wanted to learn how to do these kinds of odd borders.  So, I ordered QUILTERS’ PLAYTIME online.  I wish I’d bought it from Dianne! 

GO DIANNE!  Finish that masterpiece!