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February 17, 2018
CCVII Quilted from Fret Not Yourself

Chinese Coins VII was quilted and bound for the "demonstration that didn't happened." Both it and CCVI illustrated my topics well so I think I'll keep them until I can finally give that class.

Chinese Coins VII quilt

Both have simple walking foot lines across the coins: soft yellow thread on CCVI and light green on CCVII. After SID with cotton thread in the bobbin and nylon mono-filament in the top, I stitched about 3/8" on each side of those seams with cotton top and bottom. Why 3/8"? That's the width of my walking foot ...

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February 16, 2018
CCVI (Yellow and White) Quilted from Fret Not Yourself

Chinese Coins VI (the yellow and white one) worked out better than I thought. Three different column widths are symmetrically placed. The Coins and columns are rotary cut although I didn't try to keep the coins parallel.

Such a low volume quilt needed some solid white fabric to emphasize the lightness of the "white" columns. I.e., ensure everyone realizes they are not beige. I'm finding that adding some solid white to areas I want to read as white is better than using all prints.

Chinese Coins VI quilt

As I've mentioned before I like to ditch ...

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February 13, 2018
Another Attempt to Use the Strips from Fret Not Yourself

The previous quilt top for my Chinese Coin demonstration sorted the columns by color regardless of value so I thought it would be helpful to sort this one by value, regardless of color. The plan was to have 1) very light value yellow and white columns, 2) medium to light value green and blue columns, and 3) dark value green and blue columns.

First step was to sew all the mediums. I was determined to finish these off so you can see I ran out of  a coins in the middle. I could cut more strips or sew two narrower ...

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February 3, 2018
What About the Green? from Fret Not Yourself

Since the green coins weren't used in the previous quilt, I have loads of them on hand but almost no white strips and relatively few yellow coins left. While I can certainly sew two green columns together, I want to show a three-color quilt at the demonstration.

Yellow and green columns in progress for Chinese Coins

So I added a row of blue coins...

Adding a blue coin column to the Chinese Coin quilt

and sewed a quick top.

Chinese Coins VII quilt top

Chinese Coins VII duplicates CCVI but covers all my bases -  mixing prints, adding a strip ...

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January 30, 2018
Chinese Coin Demonstration from Fret Not Yourself

Since agreeing to give a short demonstration on Chinese Coins that date looms ever larger in my mind. Several of my Coin quilts were gifted away while others are tops at best {and some are just ideas in my brain.} It didn't seem right to have only photos to show; I need to finish {and keep} some. And I need to create a simple-yet-interesting Coin top to start them off.

How to best explain this process to new quilters is another issue. What process? As my sister aptly noted, I just pull everything from my stash and scrap bag ...

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January 28, 2018
Chinese Coins II Quilted from Fret Not Yourself

" and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys."
- Charles Dickens from A Christmas Carol

Hooray! CCII is done and dusted. And yes, I lifted that phrase straight from Kaja. Alliteration somehow sounds even more complete; every i dotted, every t crossed. Spic and span. Hmm. Could this be the reason comic book characters have alliterative names? Pepper Potts, Peter Parker, Lois Lane, Beetle Bailey. But I digress.

Chinese Coins ...

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January 27, 2018
Finally Quilting Chinese Coins II: AHIQ 29 from Fret Not Yourself

AHIQ Invitation
Kaja and I discussed last year's AHIQ invitations and think they went pretty well. Our goal was and remains to build an interested community of quilters exploring original ideas for everyday quilts. The open-ended topics let each of us develop our own interests at a variety of skill levels. We all  expanded our understanding of improvisational utility quilting and became more confident in our skills.

I noticed that I needed more than a couple of months to work on each idea, especially since I wanted to incorporate the technique into ongoing work. Meaty projects that challenge me ...

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January 20, 2018
Change the Border, Change the Quilt from Fret Not Yourself

"Our true nationality is mankind." H.G. Wells

Bordering the Spiderwebs
I sewed the scrappy little spiderwebs.  Despite the waviness of the edges, the sides are the same length; a border will stabilize it. That's where it got interesting.

There's just enough of the white print... but it looks dull and unfinished.
Border ideas for spiderweb quilt
Top left: spiderwebs sewn
Top right: white border only
Bottom left: narrow purple inner border
Bottom right: narrow blue inner border

The blue works better and gives some needed definition. Funny how quiet the white print looked before it was cut ...

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January 13, 2018
Fifth Chinese Coins Quilted from Fret Not Yourself

Such a simple quilt but with all the household and family memories, it's one of my favorites. Definitely a keeper.

Fifth Chinese Coins quilt

At first the fabrics seemed a random assortment; however, the monochromatic blue scheme made its presence known. {Black and white create the darkest and lightest of any color.} The multitude of blues became a boring as the quilt grew. Adding small amounts of purple and green perked it up again.

So the monochromatic color stretched into an analogous scheme. In the end, I simply had to add a smidge of red coins, too. By this ...

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January 7, 2018
Fifth Chinese Coins Quilt Sewn and an Annual Review from Fret Not Yourself

Fifth Chinese Coins appeared to be finished until I found several more coin strips - enough for a couple of rows. A bit of hesitation. Should I add them in or not? Yes. With extra rows the quilt fits a double bed {if I use pillow shams.} So one wide row on the left and a skinny row to the right. Now the columns are sewn and I'm considering sashing strips.

Fifth Chinese Coins quilt with possible sashing

I'm not sure why I keep trying to add sashing to this quilt or why it's always dark sashing. Once ...

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December 27, 2017
Bars Quilt Sewn: AHIQ 28 from Fret Not Yourself

Happy Boxing Day to readers in the UK and Commonwealth countries. In the US it's just the day to exchange unwanted Christmas gifts. My gifts are delightful. No store hubbub for me.

I'm not sewing this week but had a busy time this month finishing several gifts. In between, I worked on this class project. Since there are actually photos of the process (whoo-hoo) let's walk through my final changes to this quilt.

At this point it seemed ready to sew the rows. You can see I'd sewn the first two rows but wandering through on ...

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December 23, 2017
Bars Quilt Class from Fret Not Yourself

Tara Faughnan spoke to our guild the end of November. Several of us joined her at the San Jose Museum of Textiles and Quilts for the latest exhibit highlighting some of their collection.

Tara Faughnan admires Koi Diptych by Tim Harding
With it's long narrow columns, Tim Harding's Koi Diptych has aspects of Chinese Coins but despite looking at the details for quite a while, I'm still unsure how he constructed this masterpiece. Parts I would have sewn on at the end were some of the first things sewn. A lovely puzzle.

Detail of Koi Diptych by ...

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December 16, 2017
More Decisions for Fifth Chinese Coins Quilt from Fret Not Yourself

For once I remembered to take photos while finalizing the design. Four of them are grouped to hopefully enlighten my thought process. At this point many Coin sets are sewn. Each column still has three to five sets so some movement or insetting is possible. And there's always the seam ripper.

Putting the upper coin facedown on the lower coin and aligning the left side before sewing means a wider column in the end. When they are sewn the left side is smoothly aligned and the right side is uneven, only that right side is trimmed much. It also ...

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December 1, 2017
Planned and Unplanned Improv; AHIQ 27 from Fret Not Yourself

The small group met and I finished my two improv pillows. Just as planned. They're small and portable, an excellent project when there's not a lot of room to spread out.

Thanks again to Chris English who posted many exciting pillows on Instagram. He inspired me to try my hand at this delightful technique. They look great in the living room and actually coordinate with the bow pillow I made a couple of years ago. {This one was my first sample. Mailed the second one after all the kinks were worked out. AND it looks so much ...

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Kaleidoscope of Butterflies #23 from Fret Not Yourself

Cathy and I have decided this will be the last linkup for Kaleidoscope of Butterflies for a while. We've enjoyed the quilts, butterfly photos, and ideas for creating butterfly-friendly gardens. We hope you have too.

A few weeks ago QS captured some wonderful images of milkweed in her yard: a pod bursting with seeds...

The cottony fluff transports milkweed seeds on the wind.
Milkweed seeds with fluff

and blowing in the wind.

Milkweed seeds in autumn.
Milkweed seeds ready to float away

No live butterflies around here but I beaded one for the second Christmas stocking. Of course, the original idea was to bead a monarch but there's no need to ...

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September 29, 2017
Quilt-As-You-Go Chinese Coins from Pink Doxies

Chinese Coins
A Roman Stripe Variation
Also Reminiscent of Amish Bars

Moving right along with the theme of Roman stripe or Chinese coins, and adding a dash of scrappy goodness in both fabric and batting, I whipped up this delicious, little baby quilt! It took only a few days to complete, and not only did I have a top, but a completed quilt using the Quilt-As-You-Go Method. 

*In full disclosure, I am using the term loosely as I have never read the actual method, but seen a few You Tube videos using a  similar method. I blended everything I saw ...

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September 22, 2017
Reaching the Summit of Scrap Mountain from Pink Doxies

The Insomnia Block:
Four Patch Scrappy 
Friendship Star

May I introduce to you my friend, Insomnia. She has been visiting quite often this week, and I am ready for her to go home! I need to sleep. The only good thing about being awake at 3 a.m. is the email flying back and forth with my good friend and prolific quilter in Australia. Check out her great scrap ideas (and incredible paper piecing) on Instagram @sewsurprising

She was making a variation of the Friendship Star with an X-Blocks template, and I was watching her progress. She is a gadget ...

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September 17, 2017
Improv Chinese Coins Finish from Pink Doxies

Ready for a Sleeve...of Some Kind

Almost every picture I use on Pink Doxies is shot with a 5 year old Canon Power Shot Elph 110 HS. It's not a high end camera, and smaller and lighter than my iPhone of the same vintage. It's easy to throw in my purse. But occasionally I like to use iPhone pictures, if only to give an idea of what things look like under less-than-ideal conditions. When we look at our work in real life--in our homes, they are not typically in optimal photo studio lighting. A quilted piece should ...

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September 13, 2017
CCII Sewn at Last from Fret Not Yourself

Taking a break from the outer border of Chinese Coins II: Stacked Bricks was a smart move. I needed time away from it but hadn't realized it has been over a month. I am trying to marry conflicting guidelines: 1) give quilts enough time to evolve and 2) quit tucking projects away for years.

This quilt originated with a photo of Nettie Young's Stacked Bricks. Link in this post. Interestingly, Monica at Lakeview Stitching was concurrently inspired by Nettie's quilt. Although they all different, I can see the relationship between them.

Chinese Coins II: Stacked Bricks top ...

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September 9, 2017
Slow Stitching & Heavy Heart from Pink Doxies

Improv Chinese Coins

It has been a long week or two. Harvey first then Irma on his tail. We have a home on Florida's west coast, and the town and those nearby have evacuated. We survived a direct hit from hurricane Charley 13 years ago, but Irma seems much more wicked. Living in the northern U.S. we don't face the same issues as those who are there full time, but we are sad/afraid/worried for good friends there. I have been watching the storm updates, and stitching out my worries. There is nothing to do until ...

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  • chinese coins
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