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Work In Progress Wednesday: Rail Fence Blues Quilt thumbnail

It’s time for the mad dash to finish Christmas presents! Most years, I make a big stack of Christmas gift bags, but this year it looks like real quilts all the way.

On the spur of the moment, I decided to make a quilt for a nun at my daughter’s high school who has been a wonderful friend to my girl. Sister Mary told me her favorite color is blue, so blue it is!

Here’s a look at the quilt in progress. I have made all the blocks and sewed them into rows. And my back is killing me! I wish someone taught a class on the proper way to sit at the sewing machine without crippling yourself. Still, I’m pleased with my progress. Another long day and this quilt should be ready to go.

Rail Fence Blues Quilt in Progress 11 2013

Linking up to Work in Progress Wednesday over at the Freshly Pieced blog.


Floral Rail Fence Quilt

Floral Rail Fence Quilt thumbnail

Here’s what I was doing instead of cooking for Thanksgiving:

Floral Rail Fence Quilt 1

This little rail fence quilt is the same one I made for Felicity Walker’s new ebook, but in a different set of fabrics.

Floral Rail Fence Quilt Detail

I used two layers of wool batting to make the quilt extra warm. The quilt is stiffer and a bit heavier with the double layer. I’m not sure I would do that again.

Floral Rail Fence Quilt 2

I think I’m going to make it one more time in three pale fabrics so there is less zig-zag effect. Any suggestion on colors?

11/30 edited to add: Photos by Sonya of the Fashion Fragile blog.


Blog Giveaway Winner!

Blog Giveaway Winner! thumbnail

First, a big thank-you to all you wonderful quilters who commented on the giveaway post and are following Quilter’s Diary. It’s a pleasure to share our quilting adventures and misadventures with you.Hand and Machine Quilting Tips & Tricks Tool

Now, the winner of the blog giveaway!  Missmoozie, a new quilter, will be receiving a free copy of Hand & Machine Quilting Tips & Tricks, by Harriet Hargrave and Alex Anderson, PLUS a mystery surprise gift of fabric. Congratulations, Miss Moozie, and thanks again to everyone else who entered.

We will be posting a giveaway every week between now and Christmas, so stay tuned for more goodies!

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Quilt-as-you-Go Thanksgiving Table Runner

Quilt-as-you-Go Thanksgiving Table Runner thumbnail

My Thanksgiving table runner got started with this orphan star block:

Orphan Star Block

The star had somehow been left behind when I found new homes for the other blocks I inherited from a very old quilter. I got tired of seeing it float around my sewing room, looking wrinkled and lonely — it made me sad, seeing it that way — and decided to make it the centerpiece of a Thanksgiving decoration for my house.

One thing I have in abundance in my quilting room is fabric in autumn colors and patterns. Some of them have been pining to be used for decades years.

I decided to use the same quilt-as-you-go method I recently used to make this lap quilt. First, I collected a bunch of autumnal fabrics from my stash and cut them into 2-1/2″ strips, pinned the pinwheel star block to the center of the backing and batting layers, and started adding strips, one at a time. The end result looked like this:

Thanksgiving Star Braid Quilt 11 2013

Since I didn’t calculate exactly how much fabric I would need, I finished sewing strips onto the quilt top  long before I ran out of the strips I had cut. I also had a pitiful little pile of strip segments I had trimmed from the sides of the runner. I don’t know about you, but fabric scraps stress me out. I never know quite what to do with them. After years of collecting, I just gave away all my big ol’ bags of color-coded scraps, so I’m not eager to start piling them up again.

Then a lightbulb went off: scrappy binding! I joined the strips into a long roll of continuous binding and sewed the strip to the table runner.

I like the way the whole thing looks. I love having things around me that have a history. Whenever I look at that star, I will think of my daughter’s cheerleading coach and her grandmother, who mastered so many different crafts and left behind a legacy of good deeds and beautiful things.

This quilt took less than a day to make. I love quilt-as-you-go!


Christmas Cat Quilt

Christmas Cat Quilt thumbnail

Christmas Cat Quilt BlocksI know my effort to clean up my sewing room by making all the projects in my unfinished pile is misguided. I’m perfectly well aware that each project only generates another new pile of scraps which takes up even more room than the unfinished project did. But that doesn’t stop me from trying.

My latest effort is finishing these Christmas kitty blocks. I bought them on Ebay during my early days as a quilter. They were arranged into an impractically small lap quilt top.  I picked the blocks apart and rearranged them into this table runner. The fabrics look overly cute and dated to me, but I feel sure someone, somewhere, will like this quilt.


Quilt-as-You-Go Strip Quilt

Quilt-as-You-Go Strip Quilt thumbnail

Quilt as you go Strip quilt

53 x 42

Here’s the story of this quilt: I had some fabric left over after making a table runner for my friend Felicity Walker’s new quilting book. (The book includes a complete tutorial for a quilt-as-you-go table runner.)

Instead of cutting the fabric into small blocks, I decided to make this lap-sized strip quilt. Here’s what I did: I cut the batting and backing first and layered them, then sewed the strips on, one at a time, as if this were a large string quilt. The key to using this method is to make the quilt no wider than the fabric strips.

The whole quilt was done in just a few hours. I don’t know why I’ve never tried this method before. I’m certainly going to use it again.


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