Itching to Get Cutting

I’m still thinking about fabrics for my next quilt. I’ve ordered a few missing pieces to fill out this selection of fabrics.


I think I’m only missing one piece of what I ordered. As soon as that arrives I can get started.

I’ve decided that I’m going to use these fabrics for the Moss Garden quilt. Here it is with the fabrics specified by the pattern.

moss garden

The solid blocks and nine patch blocks are 9.5 inches so this will work up fast. The pattern is free from Free Spirit Fabrics. You can find a pdf of it here. I haven’t decided yet how big this quilt will be. I might go ahead and make it a queen size if I’ve selected enough fabrics. I already have a big piece of fabric for the backing and have plenty for a bigger quilt.

While I’m waiting for my last pieces of fabric to arrive I’ve started looking at fabrics from my stash for a yellow quilt. I’ve wanted to make a yellow quilt for awhile. These fabrics aren’t final and I have a few pieces on order. Some of these will probably be deleted and I have a few other pieces I’m considering. A friend of mine is sending me a piece from her stash that I haven’t been able to find online.


Look at all that fantastic color! It’s amazing to me that you can have all that gorgeous color and still see clearly that this will be a yellow quilt. I recently purchased a big piece of yellow feathers that I’ll use for the backing.

I’m thinking about making the Yellow Pot Pourri quilt in Kaffe’s Simple Shapes book, but using my own selection of fabrics.


This quilt is made up of three different size pieces that are assembled almost randomly to make larger blocks. I haven’t decided if I’m going to follow the very detailed drawing in the book, or if I’m going to design my own block using several different size squares and rectangles to make up a bigger block to get a similar effect. I’d like to make the block to it sews together with no need to match any seams as the blocks are joined together. After struggling so much with my scrappy hexagon quilt, I’m craving something that will go together easily.

It’s been hot here this week. That means that our mid day walks have been a little shorter since the dogs get so hot. I also worry about them burning their feet on the pavement when it’s really hot. We’ve also been taking our evening walks a little later when it cools down. I’m already noticing that it’s getting darker a little earlier each day. This always makes sad each year because I just love the long summer evenings. I wish we could have that beautiful evening light all year long.

We had our agility lesson tonight. It’s about a 20 mile drive for me to get there, so by the time I get home it’s completely dark. After our lesson tonight I took the dogs for a walk around the campus of Clackamas Community College, which is near where I have my lessons. The sunset was amazing!


We’ve had gorgeous sunsets this summer. I wonder if I’m just noticing more of them because I see them as I’m out walking the dogs each night.

I’m taking next week off for some needed vacation time. I’m planning on doing a few day trips… at least one drive out to the coast and a nice long walk on the beach. Then a couple of hike days. Maybe head up the Columbia River Gorge for a day trip. The dogs would love a swim or two in the rive.  And then I plan on getting a lot of sewing done.

I’m excited to get going on all these gorgeous fabrics!


Seeing Colors — Thinking About my Next Quilt

I’ve been thinking about my next quilting project. I’ve pulled some fabrics and have ordered a few more pieces. Here’s where I’m starting…


This selection isn’t final. But it’s a basis for where I’m going. They’re all Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics. I have a big piece of that turquoise zig zag that I’ll use for the backing.

I’ve been playing around with ideas on a pattern. I was even, at one point, completely sold on using this gorgeous soft dahlia fabric as a sashing…


Even got so far as adding… MORE SPOTS!


But I’ve pretty much completely abandoned that idea because I don’t think it lets the fabrics play with each other the way I want them to and it’s just not the effect I was hoping for. And also because I’m a little tired of sashing right now. But I will use that pastel dahlia fabric in the future. It’s really gorgeous! I’m ruminating on some ideas for that fabric.

So my next KFC quilt will likely be sashing free. I’m pretty sure I’ve landed on a pattern. I’ll decide for sure once I get the fabric pieces I’ve ordered and see it all together.

I’m planning on getting a lot of progress made this weekend on the second aboriginal quilt that will look pretty much exactly like the one in this post. 

I had enough blocks left over for an entire quilt so I decided to make one for my nephew/godson for Christmas. The blocks are almost done. They just need the sashing and cornerstones applied to one side of each block and then they can go up on the design wall. I’d like to get this all sewn and the backing pieced before I start working on the new Kaffe Fassett Collective quilt. I should be able to get it done this weekend. I’m planning on taking next week off of work to get some rest and relaxation in before all hell breaks loose later in August. I’d like to be working on a new quilt next week and not finishing up this one.

I had my first salad with my garden tomatoes for dinner tonight. I really love the tomatoes in the summer.

mon3It’s a little difficult to grow tomatoes in Portland. I have much better luck with cherry varieties. I get a pretty good yield… definitely enough to keep my salads really tasty for a few months. But it’s tough to make a BLT with cherry tomatoes.

My plants don’t look terribly healthy. I hope I can keep them producing through August, at least. I’ve never had tomato plants turn yellow like this.


But look at all those little beauties ripening!

it’s been really hot here the last couple of days. It was over 100 today. I didn’t get a walk mid day because it was 90 degrees by 11 am. That’s just too hot to be out in the sun. The pavement can get hot enough to burn the dogs’ feet, so I try to curb our walking when it’s that bad. Luckily, I have central air so the house is comfy. I work with a lot of people who don’t have more than fans. It will be a tough few days for them. I actually had to go outside this afternoon to warm up because I got so cold sitting at my desk.

So the boys and I walked tonight after the sun went down. It was still hot, but much better than earlier in the day. We had to go out because they were driving me crazy! They had so little activity today that they were really rearing to go. We got about 3.5 miles in, which is what we typically do in the evening. Only saw two or three other people. We got home just as it got dark.


I’ve started carrying a mask in my pocket as I walk so I can put it on when I get onto the local trail. There tends to be more foot traffic on the trail and it’s harder to get good distance from other people. So I’m getting into the habit of popping my mask on when I get onto the trail.


This mask is made from the pattern found on this post. I’ve added a larger size pattern to this post as well. I’ve made a few masks for myself on the larger pattern because when it’s really hot or when I’m using one during more activity, I felt like the other one was just a little too snug. This one allows just a little more space and helps the mask stay in place as I’m moving around.

I just love that gecko fabric! Like I’ve said before, if you have to wear a mask, it should at least make you smile.




A Break from Our Routine

Today was finally Friday! It was an amazingly cool and lovely day here. I don’t think it got much past 65 or so and the clouds stuck around all day so it was really cool and wonderful.

I took the dogs for a 2.5 mile walk before lunch today and then had to go into the office to sign some paperwork in the afternoon. I decided that since I was out and it was cool, I should take the dogs along and then find a nice walk on the way home.

So we stopped by Lewis and Clark College and walked around campus on this gorgeous day. We wandered all over the place, saw lots of really pretty landscapes, and not more than five people in 3.5 miles.


I just love this photo. Oregon has some really amazingly big trees. These two stood there like sentinels along this path and it looked like a perfect place for a photo of my boys.

I’ve never been on this campus before and didn’t want to get lost, so I asked my phone to mark the location of my car so I could use my map app to find our way back.  That made me feel confident enough to take sidewalks, trails and roads as I saw them, and not worry about having to stay oriented. That made the walk really fun as I just turned and walked a dirt trail, went up that staircase, walked that winding sidewalk and strolled along roads with no traffic as I saw them. We saw landscaped gardens, patios, patches of forests, lots of birds, and athletic fields. Around every corner was another surprise.

This gorgeous building houses the college president’s offices. It was very grand and stately.

Here’s an even more stately view with some stately canines.


This is the less stately rear view. There were a couple of people out enjoying the patio. They seemed to think we looked very suspicious. We might have been the only people they saw all day!


We came around one corner and saw two of these sculptures outside of an art gallery.


My dogs are willing to jump up on anything when I ask them. Looks like maybe they’ve done this before!

One of the coolest things we found on campus was this covered bridge. I wanted to walk back and forth across it several times and look down into the forest below.


And of course, the obligatory photo of dogs on rocks.


It was really nice to get out and walk in a new area. It’s really good for my spirit to see new things and stimulate my brain. And the dogs love it too. They like their regular walks, but any time we walk in a new place they have an especially wonderful time.

I’m going to take advantage of this campus for walking more often. It only takes a few minutes to get there and it will be nice and shady when it’s hot. It’s supposed to be 100 degrees here Sunday and Monday… after being in the mid 60s today!!!

Ooh… Another Quilt Top Finished!

I sewed the final seam on my Kaffe crumb quilt tonight. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to take photos yet. I’m hoping to get photos tomorrow evening and do a blog post as well. I’m so happy that I’m finally motivated to sew again. And, man, am I getting stuff done!!!

I really don’t love the final steps in completing a quilt. All that bulk is difficult to manage and maintain a nice 1/4 inch seam. So I’ve come up with a few tricks over time that make It a little easier for me.


I sew the rows together in sets so I’m not always dealing with a maximum of bulk. So for this quilt I sewed four sets of two rows each. Then I sewed those four sets into two larger sets, and then sewed the final two sets (each one-half of the quilt) together.

When sewing these long rows together I do a lot of pinning. I pin the seams with a pin along the seam lines. Then I pin sideways to keep the fabrics from slipping so I can maintain a nice, consistent 1/4 inch seam on both the top and bottom fabrics. I take multiple bites with each of these long flower pins.


This photo shows the pins going in different directions.  One along each seam line and the rest running parallel to the seam I’ll be sewing.

Once the seam is all pinned, I sort of fold and roll the quilt onto itself so that it’s around a foot wide, leaving the portion to be sewn extending from the roll of fabric. The pinned seam in this photo is toward the wall.


The photo above shows the quilt pinned along the horizontal center seam, and then rolled/folded back onto itself to make a nice, compact roll.

Then I accordion fold this roll so it’s in a nice compact stack, ready for me to feed into my sewing machine.


I put this stack on my lap and feed it into the machine. I go slow and stop a lot to move and adjust the bulk of fabric as it feeds through the machine. You definitely want to stop with your needle down when sewing these long seams.


So now it’s all sewn and pressed and laid out on my cutting table. I can’t stop looking at it! It’s probably my favorite quilt of any that I’ve made. I can’t wait to have good photos to share!


Someone on Facebook suggested that a good time to take photos of your quilt outdoors is after the sun goes down but before it gets dark. I tried that tonight with my scrappy hexagon quilt and this resulting photo is the only one I’ve ever been able to take that actually looks like  this quilt does in person.


I took a few test photos of one half of my crumb quilt tonight and they turned out soooo good! I can’t wait to share it here!

I’ve Bought a Little Fabric Lately

I’ve gone a little crazy over the last couple of weeks buying Kaffe Fassett Fabric online. Thank God I can still buy fabric in isolation.

First off, a friend of mine that I’ve never met in person posted a photo on Facebook of a bag she made and it included Kaffe’s red Uzbekistan fabric. I’ve never seen it in a store and really wanted some of it. So my friend sent me a link to buy some!!! And I bought it in a couple other color ways. Look at how amazing that red is!!!


If course, I have no idea what I’m going to use it for, but I feel better knowing that I have a couple of yards of it.

I also found these fabrics that are also missing from my stash…  until now.


Roman glass and paper weight are some of my favorite Kaffe fabrics. I can’t get enough of them, and I do use them a lot. And again… no concrete plan for these fabrics.

Then I bought two quilt backs. I don’t have quilt tops for these. But I found a decent deal on these. I’ve wanted to make a grey Kaffe quilt and I love that shields fabric. And I LOVE the yellow feathers. I’ve wanted to base a quilt on the colors in this fabric. I bought a smaller piece of the turquoise Guinea flower because it’s so amazing!


I have 50 masks in progress. Some are batiks, but the larger number are out of KFC fabrics. I like having them on hand and the bunch that I made earlier have all been given away. I gave some to people at work, to neighbors, and to friends. These are all ready to sew the fronts to the linings.


All those white pieces are the linings for the KFC masks. I’m using up a piece of white on white that I bought a number of years ago and had never used. It works well for this purpose.

Here’s some of the KFC fabrics I’m using. They all came from my scrap pile.

I dug into my stash the other day and found some fun fabric that I had no plans for and decided to make a couple of masks for myself. Here’s a blog post about this mask, and it includes a pdf of the pattern.


You get a little bonus sneak peek of my crumb quilt in the background! I have the top half of it done, and the bottom four rows are sewn. I just need to sew the rows together. I just may have this done tomorrow night! I’m really loving how it looks, and I’m loving how easily it’s going together.

Can’t wait to get it done and move onto my next UFO to finish up.



Scrappy Hexagon Quilt Top is Done!

I promised myself that I would finish this quilt top today and I did it! And I’ve never been so happy to finish a quilt top as I am to finish this one!


I’m still struggling to get decent photos. This is NOT what it looks like in person. This next photo is more what it looks like, but it’s still too dark.


That shows the top edge of triangles after they’ve been trimmed off square. I then added a 2 inch border to the top and bottom of the quilt, and four inch borders to the sides. The quilt was a little long and narrow so I wanted to add a little width. The size feels really good now.


I don’t know why this quilt was so difficult for me to put together. I really struggled with wonky blocks and found some areas really difficult to keep a consistent 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Another thing about this quilt that made it difficult is that there are so many seams coming together at the joints of those triangles that I pressed the longer seams open to avoid too much bulk. It’s really frustrating to press 1/4 inch seam allowances open. It takes so much time! I’m just not a fussy quilter and all that time is frustrating to me.


I’ve already moved onto my crumb quilt. It was on the design wall as soon as this one was done and I’ve already started sewing rows together. It will go together really quickly. I’m loving how it’s looking, and the sashing I chose is so perfect. More on that to come soon.

In the mean time… take a look at these amazing fabrics!


Handwork During Work

Like just about anything else these days, work related conferences have been canceled. They’re holding virtual conference instead, and that means that I spent nearly the entire day today watching presentations over the internet.

So I had prepared some handwork that I could do while listening. I decided that going over my crumb blocks and removing and clipping any stray threads was a good thing to do.


I got through all 63 blocks in less than an hour. I was surprised that most of the threads on the blocks were actually loose. I probably only had to clip one or two threads on each block.

As I was looking closely at each block I discovered issues that mean I’m going to have to make a couple of additional blocks.

The first one was this block where I discovered a little wedge that was cut out of a tiny piece of fabric. If I hadn’t caught this it would have become a huge problem and more difficult to fix once the quilt was done.


The second one was this block where I just didn’t leave enough seam allowance when sewing two small pieces together. The hole is only about 1/4 inch wide, but it will become a bigger problem with wear. So this block will be replaced as well.


I’ll probably just cut up these two blocks and sew them back together with some left over crumb pieces I have on hand, rather than piecing two entire blocks.I wouldn’t want to use these blocks in any other project. Safer to just cut them up.

There are probably other errors like this throughout these blocks. I hope I’ve caught them all, but there are almost 2,500 little pieces of fabric in this quilt. Chances are there is something I missed.

Here’s the pile of thread I removed from these blocks.




Oops… I Think I Deleted Some Comments on My String Quilt Post!

I don’t know how I did it, but I’m pretty sure I accidentally deleted some comments on my last post, but wanted to take a few minutes to answer them here.

Wanda at Exuberant Color commented that she like that making string quilts is relaxing because they’re sort of mindless. And that’s exactly one of the things I like about them. If I’m a little tired at the end of the day but feel like doing a little sewing, I can make a few string blocks and not worry about accuracy and consistency. Every block is free form, unique in fabrics and sizes of strips. And they’re all pretty gorgeous!

Here’s another one that I think I deleted:


Thanks Donna! Sorry I deleted your comment!

Here’s a couple that I didn’t delete and they appear on the post, but I might as well respond to them here.


Pam; you are a very bad influence! Or a really good one!!!


BJ; so funny. I’ve never thought about it but I also have very few solids. I have a few charm packs of off white and have no recollection of when or why I bought it. I have a few pieces of white on white that I bought several years ago and never used. I’m using some now for mask linings. But I don’t think I’ve ever bought a solid color piece of fabric! Thanks for reading!


Sheila; I love scrappy quilts and have never run out of scraps! I have no idea where all these scraps keep coming from!

Regarding the tutorial, I followed a video tutorial from Missouri Star quilts that I found helpful. It shows how to do the common center strip. You can get to the video tutorial by clicking here.

Thanks to everyone for reading and commenting!






My History With String Quilts

As I’m getting close to starting another string quilt, I looked back in my photos at all the string quilts I’ve made in the past.

The second full size quilt I ever made and first quilt I ever made with Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics was this string quilt.


It was my introduction to string quilts and my introduction to KFC fabrics. I made it entirely from scraps that a friend of mine gave me. It started my obsession with string quilts and with KFC fabrics.

I’m a big fan of scrappy quilts especially when they’re made from bright and vibrant colors and patterns. And this green Kaffe Roman Glass is one of my favorites. For me, it had to be on the back of my first KFC quilt.


Every block has the black and white strip. This black and white fabric is not a KFC fabric. You may have noticed that I love a graphic black and white fabric with Kaffe fabrics! It’s kind of my thing.


I had this completed quilt in my closet for a couple of years when I gave it to a friend last fall. She had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer and was getting ready to undergo surgery and follow up treatment. She absolutely loves it and uses it constantly — the biggest compliment you can give me when I gift you a quilt!

My next string quilt was very similar, but made from bright batik scraps. The black and white center strip was whiter than the one on the KFC string quilt and I cut the center strips 2 inches wide rather than 1.5 inches. The combo of those two things really lightened up this quilt in my eye.

string15I sew almost exclusively with either batiks or Kaffe fabrics. I make a lot of zipper pouch sets out of batiks and they generate a lot of wonderful scraps. I just love the bright colors and free form designs.

The green backing on this quilt is a batik that I bought for almost nothing a few years ago. I bought a bunch of it thinking I’d make a bath robe and lounge pants out of it. I lost enthusiasm for that project and thought it was perfect for this quilt.

I gave this quilt to a friend of mine who was going through a rough patch and needed something cheerful and bright in the midst of a dark and dreary NW Oregon winter. She has embraced it as a part of her everyday life.

The next string quilt was actually two. My nephew and his wife were expecting twin daughters three years ago, so I made these adorable pink and purple string quilts out of mostly Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics. There are one or two batiks in each one.

string6The quilts are made from basically the same KFC fabrics in different colorways. There are a few fabrics that appear in both quilts. I had so much fun making these and was incredibly happy with how they turned out. And they are so soft and comfy.


I had so much fun picking out the quilting design for these. It’s gentle swirls with little hearts. So perfect!


The last string quilt that I made was made at the same time as these baby quilts. It was for my great nephew who would be the big brother to these twin girls. I wasn’t quilting when he was born, so this was a good opportunity to make one for him. He is a huge fan of super heroes so that was the theme for this quilt.


I was really stumped on how to make a quilt out of super heroes and the owner of a local quilt store suggested that I buy solid colors that appear in the super hero print and use those for the sting quilt top, and then use the super hero fabric on the back. This was an approach that felt much more natural to me.

I found a really fun star fabric that I used as the center strips and borders for the front of the quilt, and I pieced it with the super hero fabric on the back.


The quilting pattern has stars in it! How perfect!


This fabric was really out of the ordinary for me. But I was pretty happy with how this turned out.

I’m really getting itching to start on my Aboriginal string quilt, but I’m not allowing myself to do it until I finish the scrappy hexagon top, and make some good headway on assembling my crumb quilt.

Let’s see if I can pull that off, or if I go rogue and go right to the string quilt!