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SBMQG QuiltCon Charity Quilt

SBMQG QuiltCon Charity Quilt

The Santa Barbara Modern Quilt Guild volunteered to participate in the QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge and besides making the quilt, a blog post was requested so here you go.

The Charity Committee of the Modern Quilt Guild came up with a color palette for the quilts and several sponsor shops put together fat quarter bundles of their interpretation of the palette.

The first photo is of the two fat quarter bundles of the color palette. We had a block design challenge and chose Virginia Bobro’s block which is the second photo.



Bee collected tone on tone prints from various members stashes to go along with the fat quarters and after deciding on the berry and grey as backgrounds, I ordered yardage of those two colors to be cut into fat quarters for the block backgrounds.  Bee cut all of the other fabric into varying widths of strips and put together packets for all our members.

Here are some of the  fabrics from my packet and my finished blocks.


Once we collected all of the blocks we started playing with layout.


We agreed to work on it at the next Sew Day to come up with a final layout.




Once the layout was finalized, the sewing began.



With the top complete, it was turned over to me to make a back and quilting. I had several ideas for the quilting but finally went with the style of echoing the shapes.



And since I forgot to take a photo of the finished quilt after it was bound, these will have to do until you all see it at QuiltCon!



Thanks for checking in.



Baby Houndstooth

Baby Houndstooth

My first finish of 2015 is this cute Baby Houndstooth quilt for my Daughter-in-law’s new niece, Daniela.  Very sophisticated black and white nursery called for a simple quilt design.  Thanks to Alison at Cluck Cluck Sew for sharing the link to the strip tube tutorial by Missouri Star Quilt company which made the construction of this houndstooth quilt super simple.  Link is here.


I used a white minky back so I kept the quilting very simple and it created a nice design on the back.  I only had minky in one yard cuts which makes this quilt 35″ x 45″.  Smaller than I usually make but a nice size for a baby quilt.

Thanks for checking in.  I’m hoping to be a bit more consistent on the blog this year.






Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Bright Sky

Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Bright Sky

This is my second post about the Blogger’s Quilt Festival hosted by Amy Ellis at Amy’s Creative Side.  Check out all the wonderful quilts that are showing up on her blog!

My second quilt is called Bright Sky.  This quilt was started in 2013 as the Lucky Stars Block of the Month hosted by Elizabeth Dackson at Don’t Call Me Betsy.  I’m going to take you through my process.  These are the first 6 blocks.  I used a fat quarter bundle of Rashida Coleman Hale’s

I thought the blocks got harder as the months went on.  As I moved forward, I had to add a few additional prints to make the blocks as paper piecing takes quite a bit of fabric.  Here are more of the blocks.

Once the blocks were complete, I started thinking about a non-traditional layout.  I thought about using one of the layouts Elizabeth had suggested but I really wanted something different.  I started playing with diagonal lines on my design wall and came up with a sideways V shape that I liked.


My original thought was to scatter the remaining blocks in the negative space but instead I chose to echo the large “V” with a second one.  I know there would have been a better way to get the white lines in place – my method was tedious and not always accurate which was extremely frustrating.

Once the top was done, I pin basted it and began the task of quilting.  I started with the blocks and did some echoing and filling in the shapes in the individual blocks.

I did organic straight line quilting with a few bubbles in the larges areas of negative space.  I also quilted miniature shadow blocks in the a row in the negative space. Some loops filled in the setting triangles.




The quilting was very challenging but the overall effect was exactly what I was going for. My final creative touch was allowing the top and bottom stars to extend beyond the quilt edges.  I hope you enjoy my modern take on the Lucky Stars.

Thanks again to Amy for hosting the Blogger’s Quilt Festival.  I am entering this quilt in the Modern Category.



Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Madame Butterfly

Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Madame Butterfly

It is time for the Blogger’s Quilt Festival again hosted by Amy Ellis from Amy’s Creative Side.  This is a chance for the quilters in the blogging community to participate in a virtual quilt show! What a concept!

My first entry this time around is Madame Butterfly!

Following my term as President of the Coastal Quilters Guild of Santa Barbara and Goleta, I was presented with a gift of 103 wonky log cabin blocks made in 3 sizes with solid fabrics.  The blocks came in 9″, 6″ and 3″ and most were signed by the members.


It was a bit of a challenge to come up with a plan for these blocks.  Here are some ideas that got tossed….


Somewhere along the line I remembered seeing the Tula Pink Butterfly Quilt and I thought I might be able to come up with a similar design and Madame Butterfly was born.  She started out taller and skinnier…..

And then as the planning began in earnest, she turned into this.  I had to make quite a few more 3 ” blocks in order to get the shape of the butterfly that I wanted. This is the top completed hanging on my fence.


I had quite a few blocks left from my guild members so rather than making a quilt “back”, I made another front for a two sided quilt.  I wanted to continue the butterfly theme so I paper pieced a couple of butterflies to anchor this side. I had a lovely newsprint fabric that worked well with the butterflies and wonky log cabins.

The quilting was a big challenge on this quilt as the finished size is 100″ by 80″.  I started by quilting the paper pieced butterflies on the second side. Then I flipped it over and quilted the butterfly wings from the first side.  You can see the butterfly in the quilting in the wing.



Once the butterfly was quilted, it was time for the straight lines in the background.  Because I needed the lines to work away from the butterfly, it meant rolling the entire quilt into the throat of my Janome 6600 to complete the quilting.  It was quite a challenge but well worth it.



  The second side of the quilt uses the rest of the guild members blocks along with the  paper pieced butterflies in large frames. The local quilt show hung this quilt as a two sided exhibit so all the guild members could try to locate their blocks. You can see the outline of the large butterfly because the light is behind the quilt as it hung in our local quilt show.

Madame Butterfly was awarded Viewer’s Choice at our Harvest of Colors Biennial Quilt Show and I was thrilled to come up with a design that showed off the handiwork of all of the block contributors. And my granddaughters like it too!

Thanks for checking in.  I hope you are enjoying all of the quilts that are showcased in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival.  I am entering this quilt in Original Design.



















This is my second entry into the Blogger’s Quilt Festival.  This quilt is in the small quilt category as the perimeter measures about 120″.  This quilt was another challenge but this time from my local Coastal Quilters Guild.


Every year our guild has a challenge committee that comes up with the rules for our annual challenge.  This year the theme was “Monkeying Around”.  Each challenge entry had to use the Monkey Wrench (Churn Dash) block and their imagination.

My main idea was to do a wall hanging with waves.  One day I was perusing Pinterest or Google and looking for waves and came accross ‘Big Wave’ by Linda Kemshall Storm at Sea.  What a great quilt.  Apparently it was inspired by Hokusai’s “The great wave off Kanagawa”.  I didn’t know anything about that painting but my Art History major daughter told me about it.  You can find it on Pinterest if you search for Storm at Sea.  I don’t have permission to post a photo of it here. Linda’s quilt provided just the right inspiration for me to pursue my idea of a wave wallhanging.

My next step was to Google images of Waves.  I set up a folder on my computer and reviewed the many, many pictures I saved over and over again.  I finally settled on a Clip Art.

It had the basic idea I was trying to achieve – now I just had to figure out how to do it with fabric and churn dash blocks.

So I pulled tans, beiges, turquoise, aqua, light blues and yellows from my stash.  I needed a LITTLE churn dash block pattern.  I didn’t want to have to draft my own.  There is a Churn Dash block in the Farmer’s Wife book but it finishes 6″ and I thought that was too big.  I searched the internet and found instructions to make four inch blocks – perfect!

Sooooo – I made four yellow, 14 sky blue, 18 turquoise water and 16 sand tan!  That’s 52 four inch churn dash blocks – about half way through, I was certain I was nuts!

I realized pretty quickly that I was going to need a bit more color for some of the areas so I added a radomly pieced section of the sky and the water in order to get the size I needed.

I drew the wave shapes onto freezer paper to use as a pattern. The scariest step was cutting the waves out of the turquoise “made” fabric!  I cut the largest wave first as it encompasses the entire width of the piece.

Once the first wave was cut, I could use the rest of the “made” fabric for the other waves.  In some cases, I sewed cut pieces together to get large enough pieces but since there is quite a bit of overlap of the waves, the piecing was not a problem.

You can see some of the design process in this photo.  In order to achieve the deliniation between the sky, water and sand, I “bound” the edges of the cut pieces with white to emphasize the shapes. I wanted to use continuous prairie points for the sun and made them in two sizes for more dimension.


The first photo above is still in progress and the second one has all the pieces basted in place and ready for quilting!

I found some pretty cool sky quilting images online and tried to get ideas for the waves and the sand as well.  I thought it would be very effective if I could quilt some shells and flip flops into the sand.  Check out the quilting detail below.


And the sand…..


This was a great project and so much fun to experiment with traditional shapes and modern design and LOTS of free motion quilting.  I hope you enjoyed seeing my process and my finished wall hanging!

The quilting shows up much better in the photo taken on the shady side of the house :)

Thanks for checking in.  I hope you are enjoying all the fabulous quilts displayed in Amy’s Blogger’s Quilt Festival!





Moons on Angle Mountain – Blogger’s Quilt Festival

Moons on Angle Mountain – Blogger’s Quilt Festival


It’s that time in the spring when Amy Ellis from Amy’s Creative Side hosts the Blogger’s Quilt Festival.  This entry is in the Modern Quilt category.  This quilt was made as part of the Riley Blake Challenge sponsored by The Modern Quilt Guild.

Here is my finished quilt!

If you want to know more about my design process – read on:

I usually start with graph paper and try to put my ideas into some kind of a design concept and that is how this one started.  I knew I wanted some circular elements and triangles with a touch of zig zag.  Once I got the general idea down on paper, I started building the elements. Here is the rough sketch that I began with.

The first step was the triangle section on the bottom left.  Once I got  started with Julie Herman’s Jaybird Quilts pattern Chopsticks, I decided it didn’t need the half circle on that side.

Next I cut long strips of several fabrics to make a zig zag that would go over the triangle section.

I knew I wanted to fill the empty spaces with negative space and the circular elements so the next step was designing those half circle sections. I only took photos of two in progress but there was a third as well. I used a wedge ruler for these sections and scoured photos of quilts on blogs and pinterest to get some ideas of different designs for these sections.


With the bottom right section attached to the triangle section, I had a large “V” shaped section to fill. I knew this would be the most challenging part. I had to cut and sew the last piece of negative space into the “V” of the zig zag with two more circular elements as part of that section.

Laying it out on my cutting table only emphasized the challenge so I ended up working on the floor to make sure it would lie flat.  Miraculously it worked and my quilt top was nearly complete.

My navy, aqua and grey color scheme seemed a little flat at this point.  I needed a pop of color! Bright color!  So enter Prairie points in orange and lime!  There is a fabulous tutorial by Penny at SewTakeAHike on how to make continuous prairie points that worked perfectly for this project.  You can find it here.

Now about the quilting…..  I am a bit of a beginner on free motion quilting.  I do alot of quilting with my walking foot but the free motion quilting is still a bit of a challenge. I poured over Natalia Bonner’s book “Beginners Guide to Free Motion Quilting” and Angelea Walter’s two books, “Free Motion Quilting” and “In The Studio with Angela Walters” and tried to come up with quilting elements that would enhance my quilt design.  Plus, I needed designs that I could handle on my home machine.

I started with the large half cirle on the right.  That part was easy.

Next I started on the triangle section.  I decided to do an orange peel type pattern in the section of the large print triangles and fill in the center section with pebbles.  You can see that detail here along with the mini dresden plates that I quilted in the center of the grey triangles although I did those next to last.  I used an Aurifil varigated thread for all of the aqua and navy sections which might not have been the best choice as some of it gets lost in the fabric.

Straight lines with my walking foot in the zig zag portion.

I traced a couple of large dresden plates in the negative space to add visual interest and then spent several hours quilting spirals in the negative space around them on the bottom right of the quilt.  HOURS!

I also quilted a dresden plate with echo quilting in the top left section of the quilt.

I wanted to do a sunburst quilting pattern from the top right half circle but it gets a bit lost in the pebbles that I used as filler for that section.  It’s amazing how LONG it takes to quilt pebbles!


Overall, I was very pleased with how my quilting enhances the design.  Practice makes perfect so I am definitely getting better.  I can see the flaws but the overall quilt is exactly what I had in my head.  I used the leftover Riley Blake prints along with a print called Moondance by Jenean Morrison for Free Spirit on the back.

Here’s a few more shots of the quilt.  My photography isn’t the best but I’m working at that too!


So that’s the tale of my Riley Blake Challenge Quilt – Moons on Angle Mountain!  I hope you enjoyed the process and the finished product.  I am very pleased with this result!

Thanks for checking in.  I hope you have had a chance to visit ALL of the Blogger’s Quilt Festival entires.  Thanks to Amy for her hosting.




Jungle Animals Baby Quilt

Jungle Animals Baby Quilt

Wow – this one was FUN!

This quilt is a commissioned baby quilt for a baby boy born last fall. I love this bright print with squares of animals and birds that has been in my stash awhile.  I paired it with a coordinating tossed animal print on a white background, hippos and numbers for a fun and bright design.

I started this one by fussy cutting three large blocks of animals and then individual animals and groups of animals from the focus fabric and put them on my design wall.  I pulled coordinating solids and  prints from my stash and cut them into varying widths of strips.


That’s when the fun began.  I added single borders to the large blocks and then started with the smaller sections.  Sometimes a single border, sometimes a double border and playing with the placement like a puzzle.  Where I had a gap, I added additional strips to one side or the other to make the piece the right size.  I also added strips to larger sections to make it all fit together.


I love how the number prints and coordinating animals on white fill in between the bordered animals.

The final result is a bright, colorful baby quilt that can be used for years.  I used extra yardage of the numbers and tossed animals on the back.  More photos follow.


and more photos….


I quilted this on my home machine using loops and stars and bound it in a fabulous stripe by Anne Kelle.


This was such a fun quilt to work on with those cute little animals and the bright colors.  I think the baby boy that is getting this quilt should be a happy one!

Thanks for checking in.  I’m linking to Fabric Tuesday.





Isabella’s Duffle Bag

Isabella’s Duffle Bag

My granddaughter Isabella requested a duffle bag for her 11th birthday.  She chose the fabric when she was visiting last month.

I used the  Travel Duffle Bag pattern from along with the fabulous Soft & Stable product from the same website.  Soft and Stable is a foam like product that gives wonderful stability and shape to purses and bags.  The webiste also sells finishing kits, zippers and hardware for all of their patterns.

I spent several hours on Friday night, quilting the fabric and cutting out the pieces so I would be ready to go for our Santa Barbara Modern Quilt Guild Sew Day on Saturday.  This pattern is very detail oriented and time consuming, but I love the result. One of the first components of the bag that I completed were the end pieces, and my fellow quilters insisted that I must be making oven mitts or slippers.  These photos are for their benefit :)










I also promised to follow the directions on the pattern which is hard for me to do and I confess that I deviated slightly on this one as well.  The pattern instructions were to assemble the duffle bag and as a last step, bind the raw seam allowances inside the duffle.  I have struggled with this step in making bags in the past so I decided to bind the duffle body and the two end pieces above SEPARATELY FIRST – before assembling the bag.  I was aware that the inside would then have two bound edges in each seam but for ease of sewing, I thought it was worth it.  The photos above show the end pieces bound!


It was very easy to bind the pieces individually and the second photo shows the binding on the inside.

There were a total of three zippers – two on outside pockets and a double-slide zipper for the top.  Since I bound the entire duffle body before I put in the top zipper, I loved the finished look around the zipper.

The handles and strap were made with fabric covered strapping and the hardware made the finished product very professional looking.  If you are a visual learner, this bag pattern doesn’t have alot of photos which can be challenging but the instructions were well written.

Lots more photos!


The details include pockets on both ends, a center pocket on the back, two zippered pockets and a center pocket on the front, a divided pocket on the inside, two handles as well as a carrying strap that has a cushioned pad and is adjustable. There are even zipper pulls from the coordinating fabric.  As noted, lots of details but it makes for a very professional project.

I would suggest that this bag is for intermediate sewists and you can probably purchase one for less than it costs to make this but as a special project for a special person – it’s fabulous!

Thanks for checking in!




Navy and White for Crew

Navy and White for Crew

My daughter-in-law’s sister-in-law had a second baby boy last month so I had another excuse to make a baby quilt.  Fallon, the mom, wanted navy and white.  I ordered a number of graphic navy and white prints and got started with a simple quilt design.


I started with the idea of putting all the blocks together with no sashing but I thought it was too busy.  The next idea was to join 4 blocks with a secondary pattern in the center of each, off set them and add white sashing.  It worked.

I used a navy and white minky fabric on the back and did straight line quilting.  I love it!


This will be a nice, cozy quilt for a cute baby boy!


This was a great project and I loved making it!

Thanks for checking in.


HST Sampler

HST Sampler

I love the versatility of Half Square Triangles.  When Jeni Baker at In Color Order did a HST Block of the Month Quilt Along I signed up and followed along.  It was 2012 and I completed the quilt in 2013 but did not do a post on it so I’m sharing about it now.

I chose a collection called Summersault by Erin McMorris for FreeSpirit.  I paired it with bright white and the first step is making ALL THOSE HSTs!!  I love my BlocLoc ruler.  It has a groove that butts up against the seam and allows you to trim the HST square.  They also have rectangle and flying geese rulers which I can’t wait to try.  You can get them at Fat Quarter Shop or at the BlocLoc website here.


Here are the first two blocks.


And a few more:

I worked along through out the year and finally finished all the blocks.

My favorite long arm quilter, Heidi from Rocky Mountain Quilting did the quilting once I completed the top and here are some shots of the finished quilt.


And a couple more….


I am including this quilt in the donation quilts to Fostering Friends that our Santa Barbara Modern Quilt Guild has adopted as our local charity.  We need 30 quilts by May for the foster kids that are “graduating” out of foster care.

Thanks for checking in.