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October 16, 2021
Cutting Pieces – Terracotta Fiori Quilt Along from Brown Bird Designs Quilts

Last week we decided on the layout we’re going to make and picked out our fabrics. This week, we’re cutting them up so that we can sew them back together. This is my favorite part of quilting. Well — if my favorite rotary cutter is working and has a fresh, new blade.

The prize this as we are week is a rotating cutting mat, ruler, and rotary cutter. 

Cutting Pieces for the Terracotta Fiori Quilt Along

Pre-Iron Your Fabrics

First, you need to iron your fabrics to get all the folds and krinkles out. For this quilt I only used a spray bottle of water. 

This is ...

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September 3, 2021
Terracotta Fiori Quilt – A Sneak Peak from Brown Bird Designs Quilts

Dreaming in Sea Glass 

Currently, I’m pretending I’m at the beach. Baking in the sun, enjoying the birds as they dance with the waves, breathing in the salty air, thinking about the Terracotta Fiori quilt, and searching for shells as I trek across the sandy shore. 

That is where this quilt is taking me… That is what I channeled every time I took a stitch. 

Terracotta Fiori quilt in sea glass full quilt
Terracotta Fiori quilt in sea glass

I’ve become enamored with solid fabrics — I’m using them more and more in the projects I make. They are so interesting because you are creating your own pallet like this one ...

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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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April 16, 2021
My Newest City Quilt, a Triumph (for the Cat) from Gefilte Quilt

Fresh from the photographer! My newest quilt - it's about 70" high. I should have blocked it, look at that top edge, curved like an archery bow, oy!

This quilt started out with a pile of buildings from my earlier city quilts. Playing with leftovers is SO much more fun than starting from scratch. Along with not having to face a blank design wall, trying to redeem flawed fragments makes me feel environmentally noble - like I'm keeping them out of landfill and thereby saving the world! 

The biggest decision I had to make was whether to turn my leftovers ...

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December 20, 2020
horseplay from Charm About You


Today I'm sharing another project that ignited my creativity, reinforced my style and encouraged me to push my skills. I am so happy with this finished table runner, which now sits pride of place on top of my fabric cupboard (no longer covered in mess!).

I created this runner in the summer as part of the #justjudecollaborates series of makes organised by Judith Hollies. It's actually made using the Horseplay cushion pattern by talented designer Kerry Foster of PennyDog Patchwork.

The fabric pull took a long time. I really liked the fabrics Kerry used in her original version ...

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November 13, 2020
Floral Trip Around the World from TheEclecticAbuela

 I just love this pattern!

Floral Trip Around the World 90" x 100"

Floral Trip Around the World (back and binding detail)


I made this quilt once before with a travel theme. This time I used florals and a range of solid colors. It was another quilt that requires careful planning and organization, but it was fun to make!

I used a cheater fabric for the back to continue the floral idea, then I added a striped binding to finish. It is brighter than it looks in the photo--I took the photo on a cloudy day.

Happy Quilting!


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October 26, 2020
Porch Quilt Show, Day 21: Magic Door from Gefilte Quilt

 Day 21: Magic Door

This may be my first scrap quilt, started in the mid 90s.  I owned very few prints at this point, so it's mostly solids. 
For years, it remained a top, and because of the lack of prints, I considered it very old-fashioned. Then, along came the Modern quilt movement. I realized - as did so many other quilters - that I was ahead of my time! So I decided to finish it, adding the log cabin borders (their edges are inexpertly satin stitched). I quilted it, with walking foot quilting. I liked the results enough to promote ...

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September 20, 2020
Turning Lines Into Circles for Curved English Paper Piecing from Gefilte Quilt

What do these English Paper Pieced blocks from my new book, "Hexagon Star Quilts," have in common? 
Answer: They're all straight lines. I've always been curve-averse, and although I've done plenty of English Paper Piecing in recent years, almost everything I've made with the technique has had straight lines only.

But quarantine is an opportunity to try new things (assuming you don't have an essential job, young children, and/or a sourdough fixation). So a couple of weeks ago, I plunged into curved EPP in a big way. It turned out to be mostly easier ...

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September 14, 2020
My Pandemic Quilt 2020 - Part 2 from Red Pepper Quilts

A Finished Quilt

My Pandemic Quilt - Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt | © Red Pepper Quilts 2020
Click on any image for a larger view.

My Pandemic Quilt is finished and I have lots of photos to share with you today. Our Covid situation is improving, and we are keenly anticipating the lifting of some restrictions that has seen us at home for what seems like all year. It does mean I have had lots of time to reflect, ponder, prioritise, and of course sew. There have been some dark days, but we're optimistic, grateful for family, friends, and that Spring is finally here to help lift our spirits.

Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt © Red Pepper Quilts 2020
My Pandemic Quilt - Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt | © Red Pepper Quilts 2020
My Pandemic Quilt - Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt | © Red Pepper Quilts 2020

I am pretty happy ...

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August 24, 2020
Scary Unfinished Quilt, Happy Ending, Don't Look Too Close from Gefilte Quilt

This is a mystery quilt adventure. If you hate suspense, scroll to the very bottom of the post to see the finished quilt. If you enjoy mysteries, read from the top. 

I'll begin this story in front of my UFO (unfinished object) cabinet, a terrifying place, in a far corner of my sewing room, under the ironing board, behind/beneath my Featherweight table. 
To open the cabinet's doors, I have to curl myself into in a fetal position - then, the doors open only halfway, before smashing into my knees. Fetal position also describes my emotions, when I look ...

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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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July 8, 2020
Masked Hexagons, Part II: A English Paper Piecing Variation from Gefilte Quilt

Help!

I'm going nuts making masks! 

These are a few of my new masked hexagons, made from the scraps of face masks I've been sewing since March. In my last installment, here, I described how I made these hexies, using conventional English Paper Piecing techniques. At the time, I had only made about 35 hexagons. 

Since then, I've made many more masks to donate - I'm closing in on 1,000 masks - and about 40 more masked hexagons. So here's the finished quilt, with a total of 73 masked hexagons, all socially distanced. My free, revised ...

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July 3, 2020
Masked Hexagons, Socially Distanced: An English Paper Pieced Mystery Scrap Quilt from Gefilte Quilt

If you are one of the thousands of quilters giving time and fabric to make lifesaving masks, thank you. For me, making masks is not only a good deed, but a powerful way to reduce anxiety in a tragic  time. 


You may also be putting mask scraps aside, to someday make a  quilt. Here’s one idea that you can work on as you continue to make masks: 


And here's what it would have looked like on white:

It's not finished - it's just a top - because as I continue to make masks, I will grow it. The ...

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April 21, 2020
The Invasion of the Basic Fabric from Brown Bird Designs Quilts

I don’t know what is happening to me. For almost a decade I hadn’t made one single quilt using all solids fabrics. Now however, well . . . I just finished this quilt using Shades, a Basic Fabric (tonal) solid. I am currently working on a quilt that uses shot cotton (a woven solid). At the beginning of the year, I finished a quilt with Confetti Cottons, another basic fabric that is a true solid. Last year, I made a queen size quilt for Bluprint with what else? All solids. Even now, at this very moment, I have a pile of ...

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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 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 3, 2019
Why I Love Leftovers, When to English Paper Piece Squares (Rarely), and Why I Still Like Facebook from Gefilte Quilt

If I bake a cake, I know there won't be any leftovers. My DH and I, unfortunately, share a sweet tooth - we'll eat the whole thing in 1-2 sittings. So I don't bake.

That gives me more time to quilt. And one of the great joys of quilting is knowing that there are going to be lots of yummy, color-coordinated, high-fiber, calorie-free leftovers, with a shelf life much longer than anything involving butter!

Here's my newest leftover quilt - a trifle about 22" square.

It's the direct descendant of this large (about 70" high) English Paper ...

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