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August 3, 2020
Aurora from Jean Swenson

August 2020

Back in May, I joined Jacquelynne Steves Silver Linings QAL (quilt along). Each Monday, she would release a new block, for a total of twelve. There were also six  optional embroidery blocks as part of the project. Since I’m not overly familiar with embroidery, I only did one embroidered block. I used a coloring page for the pattern, and did an owl to work with my overall owl theme. Although the group QAL is ending this week, there is still time to download the block patterns here.

The first block was a nine patch, which I ...

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July 24, 2020
Fancy Fox from Jean Swenson

Fancy Fox
July 2020

After experimenting with the quilt as you go (QAYG) method on my recent quilt Persistence, I continued practicing the technique here on Fancy Fox. However, instead of quilting each individual block, I quilted two rows at a time, which I liked better, especially since I prefer to hand stitch the back seam of each joined panel. I had originally planned six rows, but in the midst of making it, I decided to gift it to my grandson who likes foxes. So, I added a seventh row to make it a better length for his twin-sized bed ...

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July 11, 2020
Persistence from Jean Swenson

July 2020

I’ve been working on this off and on since January 2019. Life got crazy in 2019 with my daughter diagnosed with breast cancer, so this got put to the back burner. I am calling this Persistence, in recognition of my daughter’s fight with cancer, and for this quilt challenging my quilting and sewing capabilities to the max! Today is my daughter’s 1 year cancer-free, cancerversary.


“Never lose hope. Storms make people stronger and never last forever.” ― Roy T. Bennett


I had received ‘The Quilt Block Bible’ (Rosemary Youngs) the Christmas before, and wanted to ...

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July 4, 2020
Zuzu’s Petals from Jean Swenson

Zuzu’s Petals
July 2020

A few months ago, I experimented for the first time with making stack and whack blocks. At that time, I only made two blocks, using different fabric for each block. I then turned each block into a trivet. I was not overly impressed with the stack and whack technique and results: starting with “nice looking fabric”, cutting it up and reassembling it, and ending up with a different “nice looking fabric”. When I expressed this observation to a quilting group that I’m a member of, I was encouraged to make more than just one ...

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June 3, 2020
Yellow Ribbon from Jean Swenson

Yellow Ribbon
June 2020

In 2012, I began this journey of making quilts for kids in the foster system and Yellow Ribbon marks my 100th donation quilt. I had inherited a lot of fabric after my Mom passed away, and while I had no urgent need for fabric at that time, as someone dedicated to recycling/reducing/reusing/repurposing, I figured I could put it to use, and ultimately decided I would make quilts to give to foster kids. I always try to incorporate a piece of fabric that was from my Mom, Granny, Mother-in-law Edith, or Aunt Betty, but ...

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May 23, 2020
Cutting Corners from Jean Swenson

Cutting Corners
May 2020

The scraps bins have really been a lifesaver these past few months of safer at home. I’ve made a good dent on my yellows (stay tuned for my next post for this one), my black/grey/white, and now my blues. I am also participating in Jacquelynne Steves Silver Linings QAL (quilt along) that started a couple of weeks ago and I will be making two baby quilts with the completed blocks: one in a pink colorway and one in a blue, using fabric from my scraps bins. There is still time to join her ...

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May 17, 2020
To the Point from Jean Swenson

To the Point
May 2020

During the past two months of staying safe at home, I’ve depleted quite a bit of my stash fabric on quilts and facemasks. Thank goodness my scraps bins are still plentiful, especially the black, white and grey scraps bin – which is still packed pretty tight even after making the 336 half square triangles for this quanket. A few years back, I made Flamingo Floyd based on a quilt I had seen in a magazine. I wanted to try something similar with this, but in my own design. My daughter said this has an Escher ...

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April 30, 2020
Monkeying Around from Jean Swenson

Monkeying Around
April 2020

Here is the fifth baby quilt to be donated to the Little Lambs Foundation as part of this year’s Hands2Help Challenge. I used the 7 Seas design from McKay Manor Musers for three of the five baby quilts, as choosing and doing a unique applique for each was fun. It also was less time spent on the piecing part, so more time could be spent on the quilting part. For the quilting, I stitched intersecting circles, using a trick I picked up from the Thimblelady website. They have a lot of free quilting templates – and ...

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April 24, 2020
Peach (Dino Dragon) from Jean Swenson

Peach (Dino Dragon)
April 2020

I seldom make baby quilts, however this makes the fourth I’ve done in the last several weeks, and I have one more that’s almost finished. All five will be going to the Little Lambs Foundation based in Utah as part of this year’s Hands2Help Challenge.

I really liked the simplicity of the 7 Seas design, from McKay Manor Musers, which I used for Deep Blue Sea. Here too, I chose to deviate from the original puppy or kitty design and instead used a dinosaur for the applique to match the dinosaur fabric ...

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April 14, 2020
Deep Blue Sea from Jean Swenson

Deep Blue Sea
April 2020

The design for this baby quilt is called 7 Seas Blanket, from McKay Manor Musers. While the pattern calls for a kitty or puppy applique at the bottom of the center vertical block, I opted to use a whale to match my bottom fabric. I stuffed him with puff batting to make him more three-dimensional and backed him with flannel to add stability before attaching to the quilt. Since I am still a newbie to quilting on a domestic sewing machine, I played around with different designs, making waves, rippling water, currents, and jumbo letters ...

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April 6, 2020
Grandma’s Garden from Jean Swenson

Grandma’s Garden
March 2020

While I typically make what I like to call quankets – fleece backed quilt tops – I’ve been experimenting over the past year with machine quilting. I had pretty much resigned myself to thinking that machine quilting would be too difficult on my 1940’s something, narrow-neck Singer 401, and while it is challenging to manipulate the quilt on certain turns, I find if I go slow, it’s not too bad.

The center is quilted to resemble a flower, and from there, I borrowed visuals from my garden for the other quilting designs – leaves, vines ...

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April 1, 2020
Spot from Jean Swenson

March 2020

If I had a pet giraffe, I think I’d name it Spot. The impetus for this quilt was the giraffe-like minky fabric on the back and some cute animal fabric I had leftover from Peek-a-Boo on the Savannah. I fussy cut the animal fabric to center the giraffe in the block, which I surrounded with 2″ squares pulled from my yellow and green scraps boxes. I’m not sure if there is a pattern name for this, as I was just winging it!

This will be included in this year’s Hands2Help Challenge being hosted by ...

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March 25, 2020
“Home is Where the Quilts Are” – Behind the scenes of BLOCK Magazine Volume 7 Issue 2 from The Cutting Table Quilt Blog - A Blog for Quilters by Quilters

A Note From Jenny BLOCK Magazine

Writing to you from the comfort of home is a privilege in this fast-paced world. I often find myself between places, driving long distances or flying to far-off locations to visit quilters around the world. It can be hard to feel comfortable in such circumstances, but I’ve found out something incredible about the quilting world. No matter where I go, as long as I can find a quilt shop, I feel right at home. After all, home is where the quilts are! 

Home is such a lovely place to be. I recently dug into my sewing studio for some ...

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March 16, 2020
Here Fishie Fishie from Jean Swenson

Here Fishie Fishie
March 2020

If you take a closer look at the picture, the name fits. The pieces of the past fabric include leftovers from a memorial quilt I made for my brother-in-law (Opening Day) and for my nephew, who loves sharks (A-B-Chomp). And, a little bit that was left from my Silver Lining.

Design? I guess it is a 9-patch with a tweak. When I had the 9-patch blocks on the design wall, they seemed to want more. So I added alternating 1″ strips to the tops and bottoms.

This will be donated to the County of Ventura ...

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February 25, 2020
Glisten from Jean Swenson

February 2020

Here’s my latest quanket, done in a chandelier quilt pattern. All of the fabrics were pulled from my stash and scraps.

When I began this journey over seven years ago of making quilts for kids in the foster system, it had been my intention to use up the large stash of fabrics I had inherited from my Mom. While many of these have been depleted over the past seven years, I still have a few that persist, mostly because they are unusual – either in color or design, or both. In this quilt, I was able to ...

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December 27, 2019
Sarasaland Princess from Jean Swenson

Sarasaland Princess
December 2019

The jumping off point and inspiration for this quilt was the daisy motif pillowcase in the (somewhat) center. It is a vintage Vera Neumann design, from the 1970’s, in yellow ombré. I had it in some things inherited from my Mom, and from its near perfect condition, I suspect she never used it. So after being stashed away for forty-plus years, it was time for these pretty daisies to come out of storage and be enjoyed.

I had two objectives for the design: I wanted to use an ombré effect in the pieced section around ...

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November 25, 2019
Ziggy from Jean Swenson

November 2019

Random is defined as “made or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern”. As much as I attempt randomization in some of my quilts, I struggle with letting them be completely random.

I had three objectives in making Ziggy: I had been wanting to do a string quilt to clear-up space in my reds and browns scraps bins; I wanted to experiment with foundation piecing; and I wanted to try (once again) to make a randomly pieced quilt. While the colorway was not completely random (strike 1), the pieces were different widths, ranging anywhere from 1″ to ...

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October 5, 2019
Lost in Queensland Australia from Jean Swenson

Lost in Australia

This flimsy/topper was lost in Queensland Australia a few days ago, by a blogger friend. If you have any info on it, please contact me. Thanks!

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September 28, 2019
Palahdee from Jean Swenson

September 2019

I’ve been making quilts for years, but mostly toppers that I bind and then tie to fleece backing. I haven’t done much in the way of machine or hand quilting, and in the last year have begun experimenting with machine quilting. I began cautiously, first on two table runners for last year’s Christmas and then in my Hoplon quilt project from earlier this year. I also have a QAYG project in the works. Overall, I’m enjoying the learning process.

My Palahdee quilt is a Labyrinth Quilt Block which I thought would work well ...

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