Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Pink Slashed Squares

The pink slashed squares flimsy is complete, and while I have said the next one I make will be scrappy, I had a revelation over the weekend.

 I'm going to make a quilt as big as the last two (56" square), but I'm going to make it out of MINI Slashed Squares blocks.


If you want to have fun with this easy quilt, you can get my tutorial here, at my Etsy shop. It's an instant download, so you can get started right away.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Diamond Quartet

It's no secret I like to work in a series. I like to push an idea around and see where it goes. But it's rare for me to have more than two pieces in the same place at the same time, so when I do, I try to look at them all together, so I can compare them.

For that, I need a big open outside space so I can get far enough away to see them all at once, a fence to hang them on, and preferably, an overcast sky. (An overcast sky means the sun won't bleach out any colors and there will be no shadows.)

Sunday morning I had all three.

From left to right, "Dairy Cream with Sprinkles", "Glorious", "Dark Majesty", and "Tickled Pink".

I looked at them all lined up and thought, "Damn, these are cool."

You can click, and then double click the photos to see more details.

The overcast day means the colors in "Dark Majesty" (below) really show up. Although it is a dark quilt, when you can see it like this with good light, you can really see how colorful it is. Bright colors really glow when set against something dark, and that is exactly the case here.

The fence is along the parking lot of a local clubhouse in my area. While I was taking these pictures, some ladies were working in the building. One lady came out for something and called over to me, "I like the blue one best."  This photo shows why.

"Tickled Pink" really looks good in this light too. There is about 18" of this quilt folded over onto the other side of the fence.

None of these quilts are finished. The pink quilt above has binding sewn along the bottom, but none of the other quilts have been bound.

You'll have to bear with me. I took photos of the quilts hung sideways on the fence so I could get the whole thing, and this picture is rotated so you can see it vertically, which is the way it was designed. But it might be a but disconcerting. This is "Glorious", the collaboration quilt Julie Sefton and I made.

This is "Dairy Cream with Sprinkles."

This is "Tickled Pink."

This is the back of "Tickled Pink." The binding has been attached to the quilt, but only sewn down on the top edge.

It's so interesting to see the subtle variations.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Saturday Stuff

Yes, I got up early this morning and watched the Royal Wedding, because I am an incurable romantic.

Glorious, the Diamond quilt collaboration between Julie and I is back from the quilter. Here are some pictures of it.

Here is a closeup of the quilting by Janet-Lee Santeusanio.

It came out really great. I am hoping to take a group photo of four of my Diamond Quilts before I have to send it back to Julie.

Lastly, I made this Chicken Salad for dinner last night and it was DIVINE! I highly recommend it. (I made it with a store bought rotisserie chicken.)

 It's raining, so I'll spend the day cleaning the house and doing the usual weekend chores.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling...

I have a favorite quote:

"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are different."

You know how somebody tells you how to do something and they say, "Just do... x." We all know that "just" doing "x" is a lot more complicated than that.

This was the first layout of the pink slashed squares blocks. Nothing is sewn together here, it's just up on the design wall.  The color isn't that great either, because the room is a bit dark in that corner, and I have to get some spots installed. Anyway, this was decidedly underwhelming, and there seems to be more busy-ness on the left side of the quilt than the right. It isn't balanced.

Fifteen minutes later I had this, and this was worse.

After 45 more minutes, I had this, and this was getting somewhere, but it wasn't quite there yet.

After another 20 minutes, I had this... and it was getting closer. But it was also getting later. Time for bed.

So just what am I trying to do? I am trying to distribute the "busy" patterns around the whole quilt, and not leave too much of the same print in the same area. I'm trying to spread everything around so it's balanced and has a nice flow.

The next morning, I got up, looked at it, made a couple of changes and I had this. I thought this was IT.

It was not.

That night I came home from work, made dinner, and then tinkered with it a bit more. After another hour or so, I had this, and thought for sure this was IT.

But I saw something that needed changing. This is about as perfect as I am going to get it with the blocks I have. So THIS really is IT and is what I am going to sew together.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Pick Is In!

The dark red violet was the winner with the batik pink. No surprise there.


I decided I liked this bubbly print with the stripe a lot better than the zig zag.

So I replaced it.

And I like this a lot better.

But when I put these two up on the design wall, I saw something else that needed my help.

This didn't pass the looks-good-from-a-distance test.

This looks a lot better.

 So now they all look good.

So I sliced them up.

Then I started to play around.

But then it got late and I had to go to bed.

You can get my Slashed Squares Tutorial here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Which to Switch?

I'm making blocks for the pink Slashed Squares quilt, and one pair of fabrics didn't turn out the way I expected.

This combination of fabrics is just blah. The inner square does not compliment the fun batik outer square. So what can I replace the center square with?

This striped fabric looks OK, but I am a bit worried it will be too dark and that it's too busy.


This is OK, but the value of the inner square is the same as the outer one. This actually looks better in the camera than it does in real life.

Too busy.

The value of the inner square is the same as the outer square.  Nope.

Lovely, but I need a "calm" center. This is too busy.

Love this combination, but again, here there are two busy fabrics.

I like this, the print (which doesn't photograph well here, is a "blender" and the color is good. Is it too dark?

Nope. If I put it next to the large flower of another fabric, the colors are the same, and as long as the different colors are repeated in other fabrics all around the quilt, the quilt will look cohesive.

So which one will I use?

I'm not sure yet, but it will be either the first option or the last one.  By the time you read this, I will probably have already solved the problem.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

First Steps With Pink

I sewed up the first step blocks for the pink Slashed Squares quilt. There are 9 busy blocks with calm insides and 9 calm blocks with calm outsides and busy insides. I only need 8 of each, but I love having extras because sometimes blocks don't play well together and it's nice to have options.

A careful perusal of the blocks above will reveal at least two that aren't as successful as I had hoped (hey, I made these all from my stash, and even MY stash has limits!)

This one isn't working. The low intensity dark pink center makes the striped outer fabric look duller.

This center square looks terrific, but it makes you wonder which of these two is the "busy" one. Fortunately, I know it's going to work no matter what.

Yes, I'll take this block apart and replace the center square.

There's another block that fails...

It looks sorta OK like this, but find it in the top photo and you'll see that it doesn't have as much contrast as it should.

We will look at some options to fix it tomorrow.

If you are interested in making your own Slashed Squares quilt, you can get my tutorial here.

Hey, Sewgirl, thank you for your always lovely comments. May I share the story of how we met?

Monday, May 14, 2018

Slashed Squares Flimsy Complete

I needed better how-to pictures for the Slashed Squares tutorial, so I started making these blocks. Now this is a flimsy that's 56" x 56". I'll use it as a class sample.

To Ellen, who left a comment the other day asking if Millie had done any QA work on this quilt, the answer is not yet. But she will. She always does.

The Slashed Squares quilt looks great when it's a planned light and dark version, like this one above, and it can also be done as a monochromatic quilt, so I decided to make a sample version of it as well.

Here are some of the fabrics I have selected. I had so many extra pinks from the Tickled Pink quilt I decided to use them. (btw I am sewing the binding on that quilt, so it should be "done" soon.)

Here's the second batch. I did make a couple of changes, but what else is new?

And yes, glutton for punishment I so obviously am, I'll be making a scrappy version of this too.

BTW, Rianne, you left a wonderful comment about the new tute on Friday's post.Thank you so much. Would you consider leaving a review of the new Slashed Squares tute on the Etsy page?          

Friday, May 11, 2018

Slashed Squares Tutorial is LIVE!

The new Slashed Squares Tutorial is LIVE, and you can find it here, in my Etsy shop. It is an instant download, so you can get started right away! Make sure you download the file after you complete your purchase. It will NOT be sent to you automagically.

I hope you all like having everything about this quilt in one place. Please let me know if you have any difficulties with it.


Thursday, May 10, 2018


The new Slashed Squares tutorial is 99.999% finished. I have to write up a description for Etsy and then I will publish it.

I'm very excited, and a little bit exhausted. It only took, I think 12 versions, before I got it to where I wanted it.

I want to give a shout out to my proofreaders and reviewers for helping get this thing into shape:
Julie Sefton, Allison Tom, Megan Fisher and Mary Lorimor.

One is an experienced quilter, one is a writer and quilter, one is a retired Anthropology professor and one a quilter and teacher. Each of them is a great friend. The ladies live in three countries - the US, Australia and Canada.

They pushed me around, challenged my ideas and my process, helped me with the flow and sequencing, corrected my grammar and punctuation, gently and sometimes not so gently, but the end result is something I think is really good.

It's an improvement over what I had before: the new tutorial includes directions for making the block in three sizes, shows several color photographs of my finished quilts, has specific cutting instructions, dimensions for the quilt in various sizes and includes the time saving hints and tricks I've learned over the years.

Coming soon.  Don't worry. I'll let you know when it's live!