Saturday, August 9, 2014


In the 90's I started to put my sewing skills to quilting.  I enjoyed piecing and spent hours in my sewing room. Then I discovered Appliqué.  Back then there wasn't much machine appliqué.  That came later, so I was lucky to find people with hand appliqué skills to help me along.  I took classes from my local quilt shop and fell in love with the process.  So much can be done with hand appliqué. Like hand piecing, it's portable and social. Most recently, I discovered Dutch Treat by  Judy Garden.  A very inspiring book.  If you have an interest, it can be purchased on Amazon. The blocks are done in reverse appliqué.

I have this beautiful fabric. It's black with shots of green, red, white.  It has metallic silver shimmers.

Hoffman Winter Wishes
I love it but I don't have a lot of it.  I decided to make a small quilt using some of Judy Gardens Dutch Treat blocks.  I'll also make some blocks of my own.  Here's what I've done so far.

I'll continue to make these blocks until I run out of fabric.  I love the hexagon.  So many possibilities come to mind.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014




Made with Inklingo 90 degree .5 inch Hexagon collection, these small hexagons would be impossible for me without Inklingo. The crosses are made with a red Thirties fabric I've had around for many years plus another small print red I've had around just as long. This will be a small quilt.  I've got no more of these red fabrics left. I've got enough pieces printed and cut for another 12 POTC Blocks.  I'm joining them with tan fabric that has tiny red leaves to match the red of the crosses. So this little project can't go very far but it's great practice for the next one.

A Single POTC Block made with 1/2 inch Hexagons
I am thoroughly enjoying working with these little pieces.  I'm having a lot of fun.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dear Jane Row A Continues

My Dear Jane Journey

I've finished all the blocks in Row A.  Here are photos of A-11 through A-13


This hand piecing continues to be quite satisfying

Below is a collage of all the blocks in A

Monday, July 21, 2014


I keep working and tweaking my Dear Jane blocks.  I think this is the right time for me and Jane.  If I had tried these blocks back in the 90's when I first began to piece, I would have tried to machine piece and not done them as well.   I did try a few back then, but they didn't come out like they were meant to.

With EQ I've been able to print out the blocks for hand piecing.

In EQ7,  I print the paper templates.  I can do a template for each piece of the block by making each piece a group in a foundation pattern.  (If you are acquainted with EQ you bring up your block from the sketchbook, call up print, then click on foundation pattern.)  You can also make the size of the seam allowance for each piece the size you want.  In this block, I left the size  1/4 inch.  In more complicated blocks,  like A-9, I dropped the size of the margin down to .15 inch around each piece to allow for less bulk.  I then organize the pieces on one or two pages and print the pieces on the back of freezer paper.  The pieces are then cut out leaving only the seam allowance.  These pieces are ironed on to the wrong side of the color of choice.  I pencil in the sew line, pull off the freezer paper and save the little templates for future blocks and Dear Janes I may want to make.

I have finished additional blocks in the first row (A-5 through A-10).  The pieces for the remainder of Row A are readied for hand piecing.



Sunday, July 13, 2014


Finally after almost 2 decades of starts and stops, I am ready to do my Dear Jane.  ....and I'm pining for Inklingo.  I'm still using my computer to help me along, but if I only had Inklingo, this would go so much faster. Alas no Inklingo.  With the help of EQ7, I print templates on freezer paper, cut the templates out, attach the freezer paper templates to my fabric of choice, draw my lines, cut out my pieces, and stitch together.  Now all this prep work takes a long time.  Hand stitching the block together, less than an hour.  That's why I wish wish wish for an Inklingo Jane!

 The plan is to do a rainbow Jane..

My Project Jane from EQ7

Here are the blocks so far...but this will be a long time coming at the rate the prep work for each block takes me.



Thursday, July 10, 2014


Tumbling Star Quilt Top 

..Made using Inklingo Star Points 1 inch/2 inch, 1 inch Hexagons, and 2  inch Diamonds. 

This morning, I sat in the back sun room with windows open and a light breeze blowing.  I decided to use this time to finish piecing the center of my Tumbling Stars.  It was early.  I sat in the rising sun for a while.  The house was quiet.  It was still cool.  The air smelled wonderful.    A very nice time indeed to sit and hand stitch my tumbling stars scrap quilt.  So I made my coffee (a morning ritual of grinding my beans purchased from Bea at the local farmers market and pouring boiling water over the ground beans...a great cup of coffee) and sat in my favorite sun room chair..dogs of course had to follow me.

Augie wants to help
Dudley watching
GG Marie wondering what I'm doing.

A Favorite  Spot
Back in March of this year, I started out with Tumbling Blocks made from scraps, 

Tumbling Scrap Blocks
But didn't like the plain block arrangement.  I came across the Texas Star with Linda Franz' Inklingo so I decided to put this in between the blocks.   My first attempt at tumbling stars had like colored tumblers arranged around colored star blocks.  Actually, this was nice but I kept playing.

Like color tumblers around stars

My hubby suggested varying the colors around the stars.  So I put together some neutral stars and then varied the colors.  
I liked it but maybe it would look better with all the tumblers oriented with one value on top, so I put the light diamond on the top.  This morning I finally finished  the center of the quilt top.  I tend to get distracted so this process took me about 4 months.

So here it is as of this morning.  

Texas Tumbler with Light Diamonds on topside.

I think my next step will be to continue to put neutral stars all around and square it.  ...and I really need to start quilting these tops that I am making, but as I said...I get distracted.  

Friday, June 13, 2014

Thoroughly Modern Hand Piecer

I love hand piecing.  Most quilters today can't be bothered with this.  Quilters want machine piecing.  I piece by machine, but for me hand piecing is so much more relaxing, enjoyable, accurate, social, and gives me a feeling of accomplishment.  Machine piecing is not always quicker. It can be, but I crave accuracy.  This leads me to un-sewing and re-sewing, until I have  perfect blocks.  After years of practice in hand piecing, I finish quick enough, and rarely need to un-sew and re-sew.  And,  even though I hand piece, I'm a thoroughly modern quilter.

When I like a pattern, I approach it as a hand piecer.  I've been doing this for years.  I used this approach with Kaye England's book, Voices of the Past:  A History of Women's Lives in Patchwork, Volumn II.  I came across this book some time in the mid 90's and later took weekly classes to construct the blocks.  I decided to hand piece.

Louisa May Alcott block
This block was one of my first attempts
 at hand piecing.  I took Kaye England's block and reconstructed with EQ.  Then I was on EQ4, I all probably know EQ is a computer program used to create quilts. They are now up to EQ7.  Using EQ for templates, I printed each piece and drew my own sewing lines.  I made 12 blocks that I'm not too happy with.  This was before Linda Franz came up with Inklingo.  I wonder what these blocks would look like if I redid them with Inklingo?  Printing pieces with sewing lines and registration marks already there makes piecing, whether by hand or machine, so much easier.  I still use EQ to create my quilts, but my pieces come from Inklingo. 

Now that I've discovered the ease of Inklingo, I just want to covert all blocks and quilts I make using this method.  I'm currently in a group at a local quilt shop - the Prairie Women's Sewing Circle Club which follows along in a book of the same name, created by Pam Buda Heartspun Quilts.  Each month, we create a small quilt. The instructions are for rotary cutting.  The quilts I do, I'm hand piecing, so I'm using Inklingo for my pieces.  

I imagine prairie women used templates to create their pieces.  They traced on fabric and carefully cut out with scissors.  They used needle and thread to piece their blocks and quilts by hand.  I'm fortunate to be in a world where I have so many tools to expand my hand piecing experience.  With the use of Inklingo, I print my pieces on the computer. I use my computer EQ program to create my quilts.   I'm a thoroughly modern quilter.  Past and present have joined.