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  • improvisation
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May 22, 2021
Spring Broken from Sew Preeti Quilts

The best flowers are at the Keukenhof in Amsterdam. A bit out of my reach, mostly.

Tulips in Amsterdam, 2019

Keukenhof Gardens


The Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania are huge and absolutely beautiful, but still a few hours from me.

Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania

Water Lilies


The Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC are more accessible and I don't mind the long train ride although I will avoid the nightmarish parking in downtown DC. 

From 2008. My first time :-) 

So beautiful

Due to their popularity and the huge crowds (then), everyone was photobombing someone else's picture. The best pictures were taken ...

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April 30, 2021
A Funny Thing Happened on my Way to a Vaccination Quilt from Gefilte Quilt

Here's what I just made, instead of a quilt

There are two immutable quilting laws that correspond to Murphy's law: (1) Your bobbin is low; and, (2) Anything that can look like a phallic symbol, will.

The latter law kicked in when I decided I needed to make a quilt that would encourage people to get vaccinated.  I'd been thinking a lot about about friends who struggle with needle phobia, but desperately want a vaccine. I admire their courage, and want to thank and encourage them and others.

Would it be possible to make a quilt with ...

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February 25, 2021
Home {a finish} from Factotum of Arts

What do you do when some of your favorite clothes are no longer useable due to wear? This quilt started as my favorite New Zealand t-shirt (red with map of NZ and the word “Home” on it), two striped t-shirts that I associated with my mum, and my favorite work trousers (a pair of woolen plaid trousers) had holes and had worn thin in places that could not be mended.

I really did not want to part with these four items, in particular. I don’t know why but I had an emotional attachment to these pieces of clothing but ...

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February 3, 2021
Orange Creamsicle {a finish} from Factotum of Arts

As QuiltCon Together approaches (02/18/2021) I thought I would share this quilt that made it into the virtual show but had not made it onto my blog so far. 

Say hello to Orange Creamsicle. Orange Creamsicle started with a single block that I had hoped would be a great compliment to the rest of the Sunday Best blocks.

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To be honest the block just didn’t really work with the rest of quilt. Yes, that became the start to Orange Creamsicle.

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I introduced some limits to this quilt after the first block, as I really wanted to try ...

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November 29, 2020
Pandemic Porch Quilt Show, Days 36-39: Airplanes, Civil War, Play Castle, Flower Power from Gefilte Quilt

Day 36: Airplane Blanket This family favorite was made for my kids, in the late 90s, from a delightful print of animals flying airplanes.


The border features consecutive yellow triangles, called "flying geese," made into giant arrows with the help of a multi-colored stripe serving as each arrow's shaft.  

Day 37: A Very Civil War
Our country survived the Civil War, and I hung this war-era quilt on November 3, just before the election, as a reminder to vote!
I found these blocks in a rural antique shop in upstate NY in the early 90s - there was a big ...

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October 20, 2020
Pandemic Porch Quilt Show, Days 14 - 19: Altered Cowboys and Beyond from Gefilte Quilt

My show is going strong! Here's the third batch. 

Pandemic Porch Quilt Show, Day #14: Cowboy Quilt
This quilt was made circa 1998, when my adorable little boy wanted to be a cowboy.
At the time, I was not only enchanted with my growing baby humans, but also my growing baby fabric stash, especially this brown border print:
As a new quilter, I did some reckless things. In this case, I cut the outer edges, on the sides and bottom, into hanging diamonds. What's worse, I chose a relatively thick red denim bandana print to bind them. (On ...

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October 13, 2020
Pandemic Porch Quilt Show, Days 11- 12: A Batik Chandelier and a Millenium Quilt from Gefilte Quilt

Day #11: "Chandelier, Shaken"

This quilt is improv paper pieced, using batik fabrics.

Closer: 

Much closer:

A little to the left: 

Finally, from the back - I like the way the light creates a stained glass effect!

It was pure fun, with minimal measuring. The techniques I used (though not this actual pattern) are in my booklet, "Modern Paper Piece Log Cabin Triangles," in my etsy shop, CathyPstudio, here.

Day #12: A Millenium Quilt

This large quilt (74" x 93", it almost hit the ceiling) is made of 2,000 squares, cut 2.5".

A little closer:

Center: 

Backstory: In the ...

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October 5, 2020
"The Retreat" ~~ Finished!! from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

Way back in July of 2019, I attended a quilt retreat in Baton Rouge with other members of the BRMQG. After I got home, I finished up the top and added it to the bin. A couple of weeks ago I dug through the bin and chose this top to quilt. 


A little blue thread, feathers in the border, and some improv quilting.

I don't know what I did unless I really look at the individual motifs. In other words, I just had fun.


The back of the quilt is this solid blue linen and, because it was too ...

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July 22, 2020
Color Play Study {Quilt Journey Part I} from Factotum of Arts

Instead of just posting about my finishes, I thought I would go into more detail on a few quilts. This first post I have touched on before but wanted to talk more about the steps, techniques and process of building these quilts from design to binding.

I am starting with a color play study I did, that was inspired by Stanley Whitney’s work.  As Josef Albers explores color with his work Interaction of color, I love how Stanley Whitney does the same (at least for me) in the placement of the colors in the grid.  Here are a couple ...

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July 12, 2020
Need a Project? Take a New Look at an Old Quilt from Gefilte Quilt

Are you a loss for new projects? Quarantine is the ideal time to look at your finished quilts and ask yourself a melancholy yet potentially engaging question: Is this quilt really finished?

When I finish a quilt, I usually don't love it - I mainly see the flaws. It takes a while to figure out whether it needs more. But this improv-pieced quilt was an exception. I just loved it when I finished it in 2017.

Then, the people I showed it to went "Very nice, meh, next."

Then QuiltCon rejected it. Dang, I was soooo not-understood.

I held my ...

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May 30, 2020
Scrap Dive – Study no. 3 {a finish} from Factotum of Arts

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Idea

A couple of years ago I discovered the Lisson Gallery in New York as I went to see a Carmen Herrera exhibit there. The next show, was Stanley Whitney. I had never heard of him. He is African American artist, and I was fascinated how he played with blocks of color in a very vertical/horizontal grid like fashion. They are such amazing compositions, maximalist with color but minimalist in shapes.

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Design | Create

His pieces are just amazing!! My mind, after seeing this work, could not let go of how to do the same color play in textiles. Around ...

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March 1, 2020
My First Quiltcon from Sew Preeti Quilts

I was going to write a short description with a few pictures from Quiltcon. Or so I thought.
But Quiltcon exceeded all my expectations and it therefore deserves a full post of its own.

Sunday at Quiltcon

I dropped off the completed flimsies at the collection point next to registration.  The blocks were overflowing from the table, when I handed her my contribution.
Woman 1 - How are they going to take everything back?
Woman 2 - It is a good problem to have.

I silently wished there wasn't a need for these blocks/quilts.


Let the eye candy begin.  I ...

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February 4, 2020
Voila! I figured it out....happily! from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

Remember that I went to a Sherri Lynn Wood workshop some time ago?


As you can see from this photo, I was a bit discombobulated by my work. I kept at it, but while there was something I liked, there was more I didn't like. People kept telling me it was good. That was nice, honestly, but I have to be happy from the inside. So I decided to put the whole thing on the design wall when I got home.

On the design board waiting for a plan
There it stayed and stayed. Life kept getting between me ...

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January 23, 2020
Strange Thrills: Put Your Quilts on Mugs, Notecards, Pillows, and/or Other Quilts! from Gefilte Quilt

Here are the two latest fat-quarters to enter my fabric stash. I'm certain that no one else on earth owns these fabrics. The first:

What the heck is it? A photograph of my recent Chicago quilt, downsized from its original 72 inches wide, to only 9 inches across. Six copies fit on a fat-quarter of fabric (FQs are 18" x 22"). 

They were printed onto a lovely organic cotton sateen by the custom printer Spoonflower.com. Spoonflower's usual price is about $13.00 per FQ - I took advantage of a two-for-one sale to pay that price for the ...

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January 20, 2020
Turn Your Maxi Quilts into Adorable Mini Quilts (and Maybe a Mug) from Gefilte Quilt

In our last installment, I put photos of quilts that are about 70" wide onto fat-quarters of organic cotton sateen, with the help of Spoonflower.com. I downsized each image to about 6" across.  Here's the fat-quarter with images of my Los Angeles quilt. Before cutting it up, it fit 8 photos, plus four partial images along the top. 
I decided to make the reprints into individual wallhangings, and this time I not only added borders, but also quilted around each building with "invisible" monofilament thread. Here's a finished Chicago wallhanging, 10" wide including borders:
The original quilt ...

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December 31, 2019
Los Angeles II: A Modern City Quilt from Gefilte Quilt

I'm on a roll with city quilts! I've made two New York quilts,  a Chicago quilt, and now, a second Los Angeles quilt. (Photos of  earlier quilts and an instructional booklet are here.) Below is the second Los Angeles quilt: 

It's a wedding present (a scant year-and-a-half late!) for my dear friend Elizabeth and her groom Rick, who whisked her away to the East Coast, leaving her family and friends happy for them, but sorry for ourselves. 

In my first LA quilt, I recreated significant buildings that would be fun to translate into fabric. For this quilt ...

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December 27, 2019
Free form curve cushions from Luna Lovequilts

Last finishes of the year !
Dernières réalisations de l'année !

Luna Lovequilts - Free form curves quilted cushions

Last october I shared in this blog post a few blocks using free form curves. Three of them were small tops of the size of cushion covers.

En octobre dernier, j'avais partagé dans cet article de blog quelques blocs avec des courbes libres. Trois d'entre eux était des petits tops de la taille de housses de coussin.

Luna Lovequilts - Free form curves quilted cushions

I decided to finish them before tackling the quilting on two small wall hangings that are waiting on the pile.
J'ai décidé de les terminer avant de m'occuper de ...

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December 15, 2019
A "No Apologies" Tutorial for Improv Paper Pieced Log Cabin Triangle Quilts from Gefilte Quilt

When I started this quilt, the idea was to make a rainbow-colored 6-pointed star. I hoped to create a pattern people might use to make a wedding canopy, among other things.  The most relaxing way to do that, I figured, would be to start with log cabin triangles.  
So what you see in the central area of this quilt are a whole lot of log cabin pieced triangles - each center piece is light, and the three "logs" around it are darker. You're also seeing blocks I call "water lilies" - from left to right, the oddball orange, pink and purple ...

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December 11, 2019
Going Around with Modern Improv Paper-Pieced Log Cabin Triangle Quilts from Gefilte Quilt

Here are the projects that have consumed me in recent weeks.  The first started out as this pyramid of 11 hexagon-shaped formations that I call kaleidoscopes: 

I finished it just like that, with the pyramid shape and a dark grey binding. I hoped it was done, right up to the moment that it occurred to me that if I turned the thing upside down, and added another kaleidoscopic formation to the bottom.....

...it would become an exclamation point! 
I love punctuation, so I stitched that "dot" to the bottom. The dot has quilted 60 degree triangles popping out from the ...

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November 22, 2019
Teaching Improv and Curves from Luna Lovequilts

I spoke about it in several blog posts since the beginning of the year ... And at last, it happened ! I teached my two day class about Improvisation last Friday and Saturday.

J'en ai parlé dans plusieurs articles depuis le début de l'année ... Et c'est enfin arrivé ! J'ai donné mon cours d'improvisation sur deux jours vendredi et samedi derniers. 


Luna Lovequilts - Curaçao quilt - Sample for teaching Improv'
Curaçao quilt

Ten participants worked on the four different motifs I used in my Curaçao quilt and my four mini quilts.
Dix participantes ont travaillé sur les quatre motifs que j'ai utilisés dans mon quilt Curaçao ...

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  • improvisation
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