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July 4, 2020
Oh no, I'm not! from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

I've been having a rough go in the studio. Nothing is really happening. That top on the design wall is driving me insane. I've tried almost everything: adding to it, changing that, adding some more, an aha! moment that has gone nowhere, adding some more. I've about had it. 

Now, let me tell you that I wasn't so disappointed with it last week. I felt that something was happening. Not anything terribly bad, I mean. Then Richard walked in.
Richard: That's a busy quilt. (He was not being nice with that too matter-of-fact tone.)
Me ...

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June 30, 2020
Improv Technique 8......Design Wall from May Your Bobbin Always Be Full

These are some blocks I created back in April

Improv Style

This is what they looked like the last 

time you saw them...

They are basically a log cabin style block

with only 3 sides instead of 4...

You just keep adding wonky strips

on 3 sides...

They remind me of arches...

I got them back out last week

and put them up on the design wall:

They are in no particular order...

I just put them up on the wall to see

what I had to work with...

and also to see how big of a quilt top

they ...

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June 28, 2020
Improv.....Quilt Top from May Your Bobbin Always Be Full

I spent March, April and May

creating lots of FUN improv blocks...

All of the fabrics are hand dyes I found at the bottom

of the scrap bin:

3 1/2 inch blocks

4 inch random strip blocks

4 inch floating triangle blocks

Wonky flying geese blocks

4 inch criss cross blocks

There were lots of small bits of hand dyes

 at the bottom of the scrap bin,  

so I pieced them together into long strips...

Then I inserted the pieced strips into

random strip units

It was great FUN putting all of the

improv blocks together...

I added lots ...

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June 27, 2020
Urban Emergence from Ellyn's Place

I am just now beginning to be able to tell a story with my quilts. Until recently, often my story was "I wanted to play with triangles" or "these are the colors in my bedroom". Sometimes my story would come to me after a quilt was finished (or someone else would tell a story from my quilt!) This latest finish definitely has a story to tell!

It started months ago when I decided to ask my Solid Seven beemates to make me small, improv minimalist blocks with the prompts urban and architecture. I requested that they use any medium to ...

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June 26, 2020
Design Wall Dilemma from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

Why would I call this a dilemma? Because I haven't known what I wanted from the very beginning. It all started with a Sherry Lynn Wood workshop back in November. I created two pieces, one I've turned into a finished quilt, which I like very much, now that it's in the quilt chest.

But then I had this second piece. It nagged at me because I just couldn't see what it wanted. I put it on the design wall; pronounced it ugly and wrote that it is hideous. It took up space. Lots of space. On ...

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June 7, 2020
Less Hideous Challenge = Rose Garden from Sew Sunshine

Rose Garden 
22" x 22"
Less Hideous Challenge for OMQG
Improv Piecing
Organic Hatch quilting

One of my local guilds set up a challenge where you pulled fabric out of a big bag of uglies. I picked the two above which I felt were lesser of all the dated fabrics. I kept them laying around until I thought what I wanted to do. It was hard because the bigger print would be hard to put in any kind of quilt block and it would still read traditional. 
Then I figured I would have to improv a traditional block, in this ...

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May 28, 2020
Neapolitan Evolution from Ellyn's Place

clearly a bit windy to shoot photos today
Today I have a quilt finish to share with you! This quilt has had many lives, and is finally to the point where I actually like it and can call it DONE! Let me start at the beginning.....

In November of 2018, some friends and I took a class from Sherri Lynn Wood, hosted by the Dallas Modern Quilt Guild. The class was color exploration, using improv strip sets. When the day was over, one of my large strip sets looked like this...
Now, these are NOT colors I am drawn to ...

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May 5, 2020
Improv.......Technique 8 from May Your Bobbin Always Be Full

After a busy morning checking on the cattle

and building fence...

this afternoon I decided to stop the world 

and get off at the Thread Shed

I pulled some of my hand dyes 

out of the cupboard

I sliced them up into random strips

between 1 1/2 to 4 inches wide

I started with a center square

and added strips around it.....on 3 sides

I trimmed after each strip was added

Adding the blue strips...

I am going for a slightly wonky block

Adding yellow strips...

All squared up

3 blocks stitched

You can watch me piece one ...

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Improv.....Technique 8 continued from May Your Bobbin Always Be Full

It's been a week since I stitched on these

improv blocks...

We were planning to spread fertilizer today

on a few of the pastures but...

it is raining.

So, after morning chores

I headed directly for the Thread Shed

and made more of these...

They are 3 sided squares...

They remind me of square arches...

I threw in a few tiny ones

to mix things up a bit...

I am hoping to make this into a lap quilt

that I can leave in the pick up for traveling...

21 far

This is how I left the ...

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April 20, 2020
Another improv round robin from Ellyn's Place

Well it's been about six months now, but last October my improv small group, Comedy Club Quilters, did another lightening round robin. This is becoming an annual event because we all love it so much! You can read about the first one we did here, and learn more about our process. This second one was done in the same manner.

Here's the improv block I made for the "center" of my quilt....

It was fun to see everyone else's starting blocks when we arrived at the retreat center...

Eight of us participated in the round robin this ...

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April 17, 2020
Improv....Technique 7.....Blocks Pieced from May Your Bobbin Always Be Full

These are the freestyle cut and pieced blocks:

I finished up the blocks yesterday...

I need my work table cleared off,

so I pieced them together into a top today:

I don't think it needs a border treatment...

but I will think on it for awhile.

These colors and shapes remind me of my

Fiestaware Dishes

It was super frosty this morning...

check out the sunrise in the back yard:

We had to bundle up good before we 

headed across the river to feed the cattle.....brrrr.

We have 52 new calves on the ground

with lots more to ...

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April 14, 2020
Improv....Technique 7 from May Your Bobbin Always Be Full

Curves....Freestyle Cutting and Piecing

I pulled a bunch of my hand dyes...

I set myself up at the sewing machine:

I put a portable pressing station nearby

and a small cutting mat.

Just outside the window is the red goat barn

and yearling cattle out in the field...

I won't want for company.


I layered yellow and purple hand dyes:

I drew an organic shape 

and cut it out freehand...

The bottom half is stitched together.

At this point the seam is wonky...

It presses down perfectly flat.

Time to piece the top seam...

First curved ...

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Improv.....Technique 7...Continued from May Your Bobbin Always Be Full

I have continued to 

freestyle cut and piece curves...

I layer several hand dyes...

draw organic shapes with a chalk marker...

freehand cut the shapes

I shuffle the pieces so each block is different

After stitching, there is always some trimming

to square up the block...

I am really trying to vary the shapes...

This is what the work table looks like:

This color story is working

Most of these are 10 to 12 inch blocks...

Freestyle Curves.....yummy FUN

CLICK HERE:  to see My Quilts

May Your Bobbin Always Be Full,


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April 12, 2020
Improv.....Technique 6 from May Your Bobbin Always Be Full

Improv Technique 6

Freehand Curved Piecing

I had to dig deep to find this one...

I haven't seen this for 5 years......eeek!

What got me started was this 2015 issue:

I took it camping with us that summer...

Great directions...

I stitched in the camp trailer every evening.

Here it is almost 5 years later...

I unearthed some of the strips and scraps...

Here goes....Freehand cutting and piecing:

Just like riding a comes right back

Before Pressing:  the sewn strip is wonky...

After Pressing:  lays perfectly flat

Every now and then....throw in a pieced ...

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Improv....Technique 5.....Borders from May Your Bobbin Always Be Full

Remember this Improv Quilt Top?

Pick Up Stix

30 blocks

measures  36 x 30 inches

I am impelled to give it a border treatment...

Last summer I did some thickened dye

screen printing:

This piece of screen printed fabric

might work for a border treatment...

I sliced it up into 6 inch strips...

I like it better already!

I auditioned strips on two sides 

of the pick up stix top...

I am liking it!

Here is the Pick Up Stix top:

This just screams.....FUN !

The X's and O's in the border

go great with the Pick Up ...

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April 8, 2020
Improv.....Technique 5 from May Your Bobbin Always Be Full

I am trying out another improv technique

Pick Up Stix

I pawed through the scrap bag and pulled out

my Marcia Derse fabric scraps...

these are so FUN and have a grunge look...

I found this marble/stone like fabric

in the cupboard...

I had enough to cut 

30 squares @ 6 1/2 inches...

I cut the Marcia Derse fabrics into 

1 inch strips...

It is now time to cut into the squares and

insert these strips...

This is the first pick up stix block...

I have lots more blocks to piece.

I will post again when the blocks are ...

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Improv....Technique 5...continued from May Your Bobbin Always Be Full

I am finishing up the Pick Up Stix blocks

I had enough of the marbled background

fabric to cut out 30 blocks...

You design each you go

15 blocks stitched....half way there

30 Pick Up Stix Blocks

These are FUN and a great way to use

up some of those fabrics in your scrap bag.

CLICK HERE:  to see My Quilts

May Your Bobbin Always Be Full,

LuAnn Kessi

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April 7, 2020
to do tuesday from Making A Lather

Last week's to do
1. start quilted twins mystery
This was an adventure- In all this house of fabric, I couldn't find enough brown or gold for the constants in this mystery quilt. I started looking online for any suitable fabric. I didn't see any that thrilled me. I wasn't going to risk going out. Then, Joann fabric sent a coupon for curbside pick up. hmm. It took 2 attempts, but I found what I wanted. I was very frustrated in the end, but I have the fabric. That is as far as I got.

2 ...

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April 6, 2020
feelin' groovy from Ellyn's Place

Hello friends! I hope this week finds you well. I am pleased to share a couple of finishes with you today. First up, my feelin' groovy quilt made with blocks from my Solid Seven friends...

Blocks for this quilt began arriving last November and I finally put the last borders on last month. As we were just beginning to shelter in place, I turned to my stash to build a back for this good sized quilt. I had some extra blocks and pieces that had been sent to me that I used on the back too.
I dropped it off ...

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April 5, 2020
Improv....Technique 4 from May Your Bobbin Always Be Full

I am trying out a 

Free Form Triangles technique

I pawed through my scrap bag and found some

batiks, hand dyes and surface design fabrics

for the triangles...

I found a yard of Michael Miller

text fabric in the cupboard

that will work for a background.

Jean Wells of the Stitchin' Post

Lay the triangle down, cut the angle,

stitch the triangle onto the background fabric...

These go quickly.

It was a lot of fun using these triangle fabrics !

I began with a 7 inch wide strip 

of the text fabric...

7 inches ...

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  • improv
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