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July 21, 2021
Plumage from Jean Swenson


July 2021

While I have named this recent finish “Plumage”, I think “Into the Corner” would perhaps have been a more fitting name. The reason being is that I sort of got painted into the corner with this one. My plan all along had been to make this a quanket – backing the quilt top with a fleece backing. However, in letting the top’s design take the lead, it ended up being 66″x66″ which is larger than the readily available 60″ wide fleece at the fabric stores. I was truly flummoxed by the situation I had gotten myself ...

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June 27, 2021
Firsts from Jean Swenson


June 2021

This is a quilt I made for my husband, twice. The pinwheel blocks are from the first quilt I ever made, 40 years ago, as a gift for him for our first Christmas together. The original quilt had been the pinwheel blocks set in a 4×5 layout with an ivory border and backing. I made it in the style of a comforter, using high loft polyester batting, that I sewed around the inside edges before turning out, like a pillowcase. I didn’t know to tack through the batting around the center area, so when it ...

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May 24, 2021
Further from Jean Swenson


May 2021

This recent finish is the largest quilt I’ve made, measuring 90″x90″. I quilted it on my regular sewing machine, and because I didn’t want to wrestle the entire thing during the quilting phase, I opted to build it in two triangles that I then joined after quilting – sort of quilt as you go (QAYG), but on a much larger scale. I had a few lines I had to quilt on the machine after it was all together, but this seemed more manageable than having to do all the quilting at its completed size. Due ...

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May 10, 2021
W00t from Jean Swenson

May 2021

The design for this baby quilt began with the owl fabric, that I fussy cut to showcase the owls. It will be donated as part of this year’s Hands2Help Challenge being hosted by Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict @fabricaddictquilts. The cute owl fabric is the last of this fabric which I had previously used in Hoots, which went to Little Lambs Foundation for Kids for the 2018 Hands2Help challenge. This quilt is also heading off to Little Lambs Foundation for Kids @littlelambsfoundationforkids for this year’s challenge.

The log cabin blocks were made ...

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May 1, 2021
Echoes from Jean Swenson

May 2021

Here’s a baby quilt that will be donated to Little Lambs Foundation for Kids @littlelambsfoundationforkids as part of this year’s Hands2Help Challenge being hosted by Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict @fabricaddictquilts.

The fabric of the animals riding around in cars is the last I have of this fabric, which I also used in Twizzler Goes for a Ride and Toodles. The blue, cream-colored and dark green blocks are all solid fabrics, which is deceiving since the fleece I used for the backing on this quanket (blanket + quilt = quanket) shows through when held ...

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April 26, 2021
M81 from Jean Swenson

April 2021

While it has been quiet here on my blog for the past few months, my sewing room has been anything but quiet! I’ve been working on improving my quilting skills, which I like to do on smaller-sized items, as they are more manageable on my standard domestic sewing machine. I made four table runners, shown in the picture below. The Valentine ones were for each of my daughters, the blue one was for my youngest daughter’s birthday, and the one that looks like a serapa blanket was for me. I have also been working on ...

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January 18, 2021
Quiet Start from Jean Swenson

Quiet Start

January 2021

In mid-December, my nephew surprised everyone, announcing that he and his partner of six-years were getting married in a week’s time. While it wasn’t a surprise that they are perfectly matched and would eventually marry, the actual wedding arrived sort of out of the blue. However, it was such a beautiful and memorable culmination to a year that had been to that point less than stellar, leaving me with a good memory for 2020.

The name, Quiet Start, comes from their wedding vows. While they don’t have “a song” per se, they feel ...

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October 27, 2020
Rising Star from Jean Swenson

Rising Star

October 2020

A year ago Christmas, I received EQ8 (Electric Quilt software) that has for me, become an invaluable tool for quilting. I have a design wall – another important tool for designing quilts – but with EQ8, it is much easier to visualize what the finished quilt will look like, figure out piece sizes before cutting, and get estimates on the amount of fabric that will be needed. Since many of my quilts are made from material in my stash, it’s great to be able to determine if there will be enough before making that first cut.

My ...

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October 5, 2020
Mesozoic Scraps from Jean Swenson

Mesozoic Scraps
October 2020

I have made several quilts and quankets this year using mainly scraps, making me think scraps must be genetically related to rabbits, because they multiply so quickly! My gray, white and black scrap bin was still too full for the lid to sit on it properly, so I made this string quanket. I had the green fleece for the backing in my stash, so I pulled in some green scraps leftover from my recent Tiger Tracks project to add a bit of fun color for the top. I also incorporated a few fussy cut squares of ...

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September 23, 2020
Tiger Tracks from Jean Swenson

Tiger Tracks

September 2020

I enjoy experimenting with different quilt techniques and methods, and wanted to try doing an attic window quilt. When I started looking around to purchase a panel, this gorgeous creature caught my eye! However, when he got home and onto my design wall, it quickly became apparent that 1) he was too beautiful to cut up and 2) he would be alarmingly close to my attic window, if I had an attic window </p>
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September 6, 2020
Phillip from Jean Swenson

September 2020

Here’s my blue version from Jacquelynne Steves Silver Linings SAL (sew along) that I participated in during the Spring. Like my pink version, Aurora, I stitched an owl to work with my overall owl theme. But instead of embroidering the owl this time, I did it as cross-stitch, since I’m much more familiar with cross stitching — much fewer stitches to know/learn than embroidery </p>
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August 25, 2020
Pocket Full of Monsters from Jean Swenson

Pocket Full of Monsters

August 2020

Patterns for quilts can come from a variety of atypical places. I often notice quilt designs in tile installations. My grandson has a math activity book that has Pokemon characters drawn in grid format, which on seeing it, I instantly saw quilt potential.

At the beginning of the pandemic, my daughter asked me about doing a sewing project with her and my grand-kids via video calls. Since my grandson is currently into Pokemon, I had her send me the Pikachu picture from his activity book, and I then cut the needed pieces from fabric ...

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August 19, 2020
Onshore Breeze from Jean Swenson

Onshore Breeze
August 2020

When I can’t sail, I quilt. My husband and I have been sailors for over 30 years, so naturally, when the grandkids came on the scene, we taught them that a nice onshore breeze is synonymous with good sailing. We often say, “Nice onshore breeze, we should go sailing!” Now that they are a bit older, we merely start the sentence, “Nice onshore breeze”, and they finish it </p>
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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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