Sewing for the Children’s Quilt Project

5 06 2015

I am soooo totally still into the just-sit-down-and-sew mood, and this time for a different reason.

It is because I am so busy organizing fabric donations and kit construction for my quilt guild’s volunteer effort, the Children’s Quilt Project (more info here),  and I have consequently felt as though I did not have time to work on my own quilts.

Since this other work in non-sewing, I have sneaked into the studio and grabbed time to sew on quick and easy projects that I can finish in a shorter period of time.

Here’s the gallery of items I’ve made since the last post:

From triangle scraps donated by EBHQ-er Judy J, an actual finished quilt—-


I quilted and bound this lovely top sewn (from a kit I put together) by another EBHQ member—-


Sorting through all the donations of fabrics to the Project, I found a large bin half full of 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles.  I played with these for a while, and came up with a few quilt tops—-

A Christmas Chinese Coin Variation—-


A Sideways Christmas Chinese Coin—-


A Christmas Rail Fence—-


A Somber Rail Fence—-


A Purple Rail Fence—-


A Brickwork—-


Two Stripes—-



And one large Four Patches with Half Square Triangles—-


That’s all for now.




Fabric postcards galore

22 11 2013

The postcard project is producing some very nice works, and I thought it was time to showcase some of the wonderful EBHQ fabric postcard artists, including Sonia Callahan, Meg Nixon, Rosemary Corbin, Susan Peck, Claire Sherman, and me.  I have remembered a few names of the names, and I’m sure I have forgotten others.  Please let me know if I need to include your name here.

It’s so much fun to see the variety of fabrics and techniques that we all have used for these small pieces.

The various themes include . . . . .   Christmas






Other characters


Free form designs


These little gems are lots of fun to do, once you have made a few to get yourself familiar with the techniques.  Let me know it you want to make some, too.

Forgotten Quilt; Halloween Postcards

25 10 2013

While looking through my old photo files for pictures of the Christmas stockings I had previously made, I came across a picture of a quilt that I had forgotten about.  The picture is one taken for the EBHQ historian at the Voices in Cloth 2008 quilt show.  I did not keep this quilt long enough for it to be professionally photographed.  It was donated to a women’s clinic in Africa, when EBHQ still had a means of getting these items there.

Triad II, 2008

Triad II, 2008

I also remember that this quilt was problematic in many ways.   It started in an EBHQ workshop on color in quilts taught by Christine E. Barnes.  She uses “mock blocks” to teach color and other artistic concepts to quilters.  (see her book Color: The Quilter’s Guide for all the details)  Below is the mock block I made in class, and I loved it.


Time to make a full quilt.  I changed the center square to a red-purple (magenta), creating a triad color scheme.

Finding the turquoise, yellow-orange, and magenta fabrics for the quilt was difficult, especially when I needed them in different values.  There was not much dark turquoise in the local fabric stores.

Then, finding an appropriate fabric for sashing between the blocks was even harder, since I had boxed myself into this specific color scheme.  I love the puzzle aspect of this art form, but this one was not so much fun.  The sashing fabric turned out to be in my own stash;  it was a fabric manufactured by the children’s clothing company Mousefeathers in Berkeley, and a wild print it was.

Anyway, after struggling with finding fabrics, putting them together, working out the math, and developing a quilting pattern, I was happy to see this one finished, ready for display at the quilt show,  and I loved it.  But NO ONE else did.  Too bright, unusual colors, whatever.  So off it went to keep someone continents away safely bundled.


Just for fun with the upcoming holiday—-some more postcards.  I loved making these from some old Alexander Henry fabrics I found heavily discounted after Halloween one year.  Some of these images were incomplete, but they still worked in this small format.  I even had to give the torn Frankie a few extra sutures on his neck;  seemed to do the trick.


Yes, more EBHQ postcards

27 09 2013

I’m really pleased to see all these postcards made by EBHQ’s many wonderful members.  I hope this is a fun exercise for all who participate.  So many different styles are emerging, and I’m happy to see them all.

Everybody make MORE!!  If you need supplies, a consult, a demo or answers to your questions, see Contact Susan above.

Here are all the latest, made by (in no particular order) Jean Wolslegel, Meg Goldman, Andrea Segall, Susan Peck, and Meg Nixon.  Enjoy.



More from me:

I told you it was addictive.   Did you really  think I could stop????

Cutting up an unfinished project from a Laura Wasilowski workshop at EBHQ, I made thisA_2but could not stop.

BAending up with all these:

dAnd, because I still can’t throw anything away, I made these from the scraps after trimming the above flowers:


Vegetable leftovers and two works in progress

9 08 2013

Just a few more items I worked on during the “sewlessness” period to get myself back in my artistic groove . . .

But first, let me describe how much I LOVE LEFTOVERS ! ! !

Here’s why:

—The fabric goes together because I already used it in a quilt I like.

—The fabric is already cut, a big bonus.

—The fabric is just sitting there screaming to be used.  What am I gonna do . . . throw it away??????

—(Perhaps most importantly) I get to work on the puzzle/challenge of making something new that works in a different.  Perhaps this is why many artists work in series.

Eat Your Vegetables II (see the first in the Vegetable series here)


Eat Your Vegetables II, 2014               47″ x 55″

I was very pleased that I got to play with this group of fabrics again.  Usually, when I work with the limited group of fabrics all in the same coordinated line of one manufacturer, the quilts can seem dull or boring.   I love that these particular fabrics do not seem boring to me.  I think I like them because they are in the cartoonish style, a particular favorite of mine.

Here’s the close-up:

veg2detailEat Your Vegetables II, detail

There’s one more in this series, which is in the process of being completed.  I don’t have the right borders yet, if this is where the quilt is supposed to end.  I may have to add a few more pieced borders before this is complete, just to exercise the medallion quilt skills I’m learning to incorporate into my repertoire.

veg3Eat Your Vegetables III—work in progress

Since the sewlessness has passed, I’ll share this pic of the larger project I am happy to be working on again, the project on which I became stumped.  It is now just the perfect hand sewing project for the next thousand hours.  See the end of this post from a year ago for a view into how this all started.

wipSlowly this will take shape.  I am fortunate enough to have taken an EBHQ workshop with by Becky Goldsmith, who taught us the Piece O’ Cake method of hand applique.  I had tried applique before and had been frustrated by the imprecision I could not seem to control.  Using these new techniques has made me a happy quilter.

Another work-in-progress: Freddy Moran class

2 11 2012

Even though I have many, many works-in-progress which are waiting for quilting, piecing, finding just the right border fabric, figuring out what comes next in a puzzling design I have created, or some other lame excuse that I have concocted, it’s always fun to start something new!!!

I had the opportunity to do this over the past weekend, by taking a class  taught by the wonderful Freddy Moran at ThimbleCreek Quilt Shop.  I was inspired to take this class after having recently taken a course from the retired Roberta Horton.  This made me realize that these fabulous teachers may not be teaching forever, and I should learn from them before they retire.  I think I get this attitude of being open to new ideas, techniques, etc. because I am a member of East Bay Heritage Quilters, a local guild for quilters.   I recognize the value of the “heritage” part of this group;  I have learned so much from other quilters that I know I owe much of my current work to the many great teachers with whom I have studied.  I will try to acknowledge more of these folks in these postings when appropriate.

For this class, I made piles and piles of “parts”, using Freddy’s book Collaborative Quilting as our guideline.  It was difficult for me to make these parts ahead of time, since I did not know what I was going to make or how I would be putting these pieces together.  Here’s some of what I made, strata or piano keys.

I also made 16 wacky Churn Dash blocks, a billion sawtooth borders in two different sizes, and some simple appliqued circles, in addition to taking along a huge pile of  completed 4-patches that I had originally intended for another project and four boxes of bright colored and black and white fabrics.

The end result, in the Freddy style, still remains true Susan’s style as well.  It’s up on the design wall, so I’m finishing it by working on attaching all these borders, and that will be the end.  It grew into a large piece, and got pretty wild, in comparison to the quite controlled pieces I have been doing recently.  Sooooo fun just to play with fabric, and not be too fussy about the end result.  If I had fun doing it, then my mission has been accomplished.

The whole class worked incredibly hard during this 2-day class, and made seriously creative pieces.  The calm and jovial Freddy presided masterfully over all of us.

Here’s Freddy, posing in front of only one of the pile of her quilts that she brought to the class to share with us.

Take classes, people!!  It changes you, in a good way.