Black and White All Over–foundation-pieced triangles

21 09 2018

I have written about this piece while it was in progress in two prior posts, and it was finally finished in time to be shown at my guild’s exhibit, EBHQ’s Voices in Cloth, 2018.

During the process of making this quilt, I tried numerous times to include color of any kind, and did not succeed.  Frankly, the result is super-pleasing, to me at least.  Seems not to have impressed many others.  But then we do what we do because we are following our own compass, not to please others.

Black and White All Over, 2017


Black and White All Over, detail

I started this in Ashland, Oregon, while on vacation at a great house, attending many plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  I wanted a portable project, requiring limited baggage, so I took only my Featherweight and black and white fabrics, just to get a new quilt started.

I made my own foundations on freezer paper using an unthreaded needle on my machine.  I do not include a seam allowance on my foundations.  I learned to love foundation-piecing a billion years ago in a class taught by Jane Hall and Dixie Haywood at Houston.  I’m so grateful to them for sharing their expertise.

Freezer paper foundations

Progress started out slow, until I got into a good rhythm.

Day One

And then it got easy.

Day five


I even found a beautiful bowl for the fabric trimmings, which became its own fabric sculpture after a while.


And here is what most people commented on about this quilt, since this fabric was used often:


Still love it.

Starshine: foundation piecing

24 05 2013

Having taken the beginner class in foundation piecing** from Jane Hall and Dixie Haywood in Houston, I jumped at the chance to study with foundation-piecer extraordinaire Karen Stone when she came to EBHQ in the late 90’s to speak and teach classes.  My Starshine quilt is the product of that class and is made from Karen’s Lady Liberty pattern.

Karen has a wonderful technique for identifying the different areas of the block and then distributing the different colors within these areas.  In addition, she taught us the intricacies of using foundations to make sewing the curved seams easier.

For this quilt, I used the same color palette as my Triad quilt (seen here), adding purple as an extra color.  And note how intense these colors seem when the quilt is photographed on a black background.

010DagueStarshine, 1999               55.5″ x 55.5″             Photography by Sibila Savage

Here is a detail of four blocks put together.

010Dague_2Starshine, detail

What surprises me about this quilt today is its lack of quilting.  I know I was having trouble at this time trying to figure out how to machine quilt these creations of mine that have soooooo many different fabrics in them.  What color thread is best for the quilting?  Will you even see the quilting on these blocks?  It seems I took the easy way out and quilted the whole thing in the ditch.  Might do it differently today.

This quilt is another example of my discounting my work merely because it was made using someone else’s pattern.  I loved making it, and I love the product, but I folded it up and put it aside, writing it off as a so-so work, and not thinking much more about.  It was not until I was showing some of my quilts to a group of non-quilters that I had a change of heart.  One of the group pulled this quilt off the storage shelf, opened it up,  and raved about it, so I looked at it again with new eyes.  It’s really kinda cool.


P.S. . . .

A couple more of the fabric postcards I’m working on, not finished yet.  Afraid I’m becoming obsessed.



**Jane and Dixie always call their work “foundation piecing” to distinguish it from English paper piecing (EPP), which is a method  done by hand.

Foundation Piecing: more great teachers

8 02 2013

I learned about foundation piecing in a class taught by Jane Hall and Dixie Haywood at the Houston quilt show in 1994.  These excellent ladies taught us five ways to make patchwork on various kinds of foundations and described all the situations in which these various techniques would be useful.  The most appealing use for me at this time came from Jane:  “If it needs to be perfect, use paper piecing.”   I came away from their class with piles of samples, to which I can still refer when solving difficult piecing problems.

Shortly hereafter, I got an opportunity to put this new skill to use.


Super Triangles Baby Quilt by Kaffe Fassett, 1997

A friend gave my name to Liza Prior Lucy, Kaffe Fassett’s quilt book writing partner, who needed quilts sewn for an upcoming book, since the deadlines were looming.  I volunteered to sew the top for this wonderful quilt, which is included in the 1997 edition of Patchwork by Kaffe Fassett with Liza Prior Lucy. (Subsequent publications are entitled Glorious Patchwork, and it is still a fabulous book.)  Kaffe and Liza translated some of Kaffe’s wonderful knitting designs into quilting patterns.  The Super Triangles sweater looks like this:


In return for piecing the quilt top I received an acknowledgment in the book, along with a book and poster, both signed by Kaffe.  I devoured the book, and immediately made a quilt from my favorite (besides the one I made) Kaffe quilt.


Yellow Pennants, 2001        59.5″ x 71.5″    Photography by Sibila Savage

I was just beginning to use these wonderfully bright fabrics, so the Yellow Pennants Quilt (p.39) was a good tutorial for me.  Great quilter Rebecca Rohrkaste once told me that if you want to learn to make color choices that you don’t usually make, copy a quilt you love, and you will learn a lot.  Although she was referring to Amish quilts at the time, the message is still the true.   Kaffe’s quilt design included extra borders, which I found distracting, so I just eliminated them.  Easy.

I went on to make at least one more in this pattern, especially since I used my own fabrics as demonstration when I taught a class on this quilt.  Here’s an example, with one of Kaffe’s borders added on:


Lime and Fuchsia Pennants, 2002                      36″ x 36″

And don’t forget to take a class.