A little different . . .

29 09 2016

And now for something completely different—–

I duecided to take a break from paper-piecing isosceles  triangles when I had finished 92.  So I sewed together two tops for making into quilts for our Children’s Quilt Project wing of EBHQ’s Community Quilts efforts.

I made these tops from kits I made for the Project using my all-time favorites—the leftover 2″ squares.

Kits kinda come together on their own.  Scraps cut into 2.5″ squares begin to combine into interesting groups or color combinations, and these groups find fun borders and binding.  I love this process.

Sometimes, when I create a kit, I can’t let go of it and HAVE to make it myself.  Then, I usually finish the whole quilt.  And it does still feel good to know that some child/family will receive this quilt.  I know they really appreciate these cuddly comfort quilts that our guild donates to a wide variety of deserving non-profits.

The latest two—




Still have three more kits that I could  sew now, but I think it’s time to get those last 40 triangles sewn (if they actually ARE the last triangles; I almost never know).


A new project-finally

23 09 2016

Having finished a lot of previous projects, I am finally starting a new one, one I have been thinking about for a while.

I cut a ton of 2″ strips from black and white fabrics I had collected, probable cutting way too much, nothing new for me.  And next I  cut another ton of center triangles.  Loving the triangle shape these days.

Then I made about 140 of these triangle patterns using freezer paper.  These are the foundations on which the strips are sewn.


And here is the result of my sewing so far, not even halfway finished, but lots of fun along the way.  I’m still thinking about getting some color into all this neutral, but that will happen when I get all the blocks on the design wall.  Maybe some magic will happen.



And here below are all the scraps from trimming the extras off the edges of the foundations. I started throwing them into this nice bowl, and all of a sudden they were an arty project all on their own.  Gonna keep doing this and see how full it gets.




Yellow Triangles–another pyramid quilt

26 08 2016

I feel as though I have made tons of these “pyramid” quilts.  They are sooooooo fun to play with. See this link for a few views of others I have made.

The challenge here was to use yellow, a color that plays very well with other colors, but one that I had never thought to use on its own.  Combining all the different yellows with prints in blacks and whites made this task very simple.  The finished look is very scrappy, one of my favorite genres.

artwork by Susan Dague

Yellow Triangles, 2016

60.5″ x 70.5″

I cut the pyramid patches using an 8″, 60 degree Triangle Non-Slip Ruler from Creative Grids.  The flat notch across the top of the template is the marker for the grain of the fabric.   This helps in keeping the side of the triangles that are cut on the bias under control.


Yellow Triangles, Detail

The quilting pattern is also an old favorite of mine.  I have made a sturdy cardboard template for marking these curves.  I find that marking them takes time, but the actual quilting goes much faster and easier when they are marked.

The 60-degree triangles quilted into the border are meant to echo the triangles in the body of the quilt.  And my real favorite part of this whole quilt in the fussy-cut row of white dots in the inner border.

This quilt is a college graduation gift for family friend Sophia.  Hope she enjoys it.


Woven Hexagons

12 08 2016

Woven Hexagons is finished.  This quilt is the final product of the sewing project I had to start in Ashland OR, when I inadvertently left my sewing basket at home when I left on vacation almost two years ago.

Click here to see the full story, including details about the English paper piecing techniques used.

Woven Hexagons, 2016

                                         Woven Hexagons, 2016       

It was difficult finding a background for all these great blocks, and I was surprised that this really bold-printed pattern on black was the one that finally did the trick.

Frankly, working with this entire color palette put me way out of my comfort zone, so I am pleased that it is finished and that I like it so much.

Woven Hexagons, Detail

Woven Hexagons, Detail

The quilting is very simple;  it is hard to see as it is, so just enough quilting to hold it all together, including the fun circles in the middle of each block.

it’s a challenge to make a quilt using only fabric from one designer or fabric line without the final project being uninteresting, so using only Marcia Derse fabrics for this one posed some problems.  In the end, I hope it hasn’t turned out too boring.


Purple Geese

29 07 2016

I just finished five quilts in time to get them photographed, quite a flurry of activity.

It was fun finally to finish this Flying Geese quilt, and I say “finally” even though I have no idea when I even started it.

When a class project more than 15 years ago did not turn out as I would have liked, I used all the fabrics I had gathered for the class and all the left over cut pieces and started sewing these geese on freezer paper, three geese to a block.  I worked on these randomly, and then there was a huge pile of them, which became this quilt top.

After that,  the top sat unquilted for the longest time.  The 2016 New Year’s resolutions to finish my projects really worked in this case, and here is the quilt that grew from that abandoned project.

artwork by Susan Dague

Purple Geese, 2016

59″ x 63″   

The quilting is very simple.  I wanted the plaids to do all the heavy lifting.  I think they do a great job.



Purple Geese Detail

And I gratefully acknowledge Gerry Roy and Roberta Horton for helping to nurture a love of plaids early on in my quilting life.  These fun fabrics are a a joy to work with, and I try to include them in everything I do.

If I had known I would love this one as much as I do, I’d like to think I might have finished it sooner.  Oh, well . . .


there’s one more, finished in 2009.  It’s probably the remains of the class project that did not please me and did not warrant finishing as a full-sized quilt.  Done. (Must have had strong New Year’s resolutions in 2009, too).

111_AllPlaids_medAll Plaids, 2009

42″ x 44″



Sewing collectibles–some wacky creations

27 05 2016

As I have previously written, I started collecting these little lovelies probably almost 30 years ago, after being gifted some by my vintage-living sister-in-law Wendy.  This gift coincided with the birth of eBay, and I was hooked.

Most of the fun pieces in my collection are ceramic, and must include a retractable measuring tape.  I have made exceptions over the years, but have not fallen prey to the thousands of other types of pincushions that have been created as long as humans have been sewing.  Mine must also qualify as cute, able to make me smile.

Here are just a few examples.  More coming in future posts.



Some have a space for the mini-scissors.


This is an unusual piece.  I’ve not seen one for sale in quite a while.



Pins go in the pouch.  These crafters have found many interesting ways to include the pins and the scissors.


And I particularly like the scissors as glasses.  Seems to make them even cuter.  A “crown” is often added for the pins.


An second elephant, equally charming.


And sometimes these pincushions had friends.

The scissors, pen holder, measuring tape figure was perhaps at the desk or even the telephone stand, waaaaaaay back when telephones were stationary, some even attached to a wall.


Sometimes I  wonder if stitchers actually used these.  Some come with so many pins stuck in them that I think they might have been used often.

Hope you enjoy the pix.

Happy Wreath, a long, long tale

8 04 2016

I just spent 15 minutes trying to find the first posting of the beginning pieces of this quilt.  And wow—it was in September of 2012 !!  No wonder I hate it when people ask me how long it takes to make some of my quilts.

Click here for the link to the photo of  the first flowers, way back when I had no idea what I was going to do with them and just kept sewing away.

And here’s the shape they finally took.

Happy Wreath, 2016 68" x 68"

                                         Happy Wreath, 2016
                                                  68″ x 68″


Along the way, the border for this quilt was going to be some pieced 1″ squares, but when the center was finished, that border did not work.  Soooooooo, off I went making 36 more flowers for the vine border.  And, after all this hand sewing, I still love needle turn applique.

artwork by Susan Dague

Happy Wreath, Detail A

The next challenge was what to do with the middle of the wreath.  Add a vase with flowers, add more flowers, quilt flowers ??  None of these worked as well as the leaves, which disappear enough to allow the wreath flowers to stand out.

Many challenges, but I like the final product.

artwork by Susan Dague

Happy Wreath, Detail B

And look closely at this crosshatch background fabric.  This fabric gives the flowers a fun place to play.

This quilt, along with Awake At Midnight, was shown in the EBHQ Voices in Cloth 2016 Show last month.