Category Archives: Quilting

Cutting up fabric and sewing it together in a new way.

Photo Challenge – Spread

Quilt as Curtain. Photo: TLClark, 8/8/2013.

“Spread” was the photo challenge word on Tuesday. As Frank put it “While the spread of a virus is not welcome, a nice dinner spread or bread spread or even bed spread might be appreciated!”

As a quilter I have plenty of bed spreads around the house. But I’d shown you stack of quilts not so long ago when the photo challenge word was “rest.” (You can see it here.)

Master Bedroom. Photo: TLClark, 8/8/2013.

Then I remembered these pictures of Grandma’s quilt. Actually, it’s my quilt made by Grandma Mary. The fabric came from left-over scraps from clothes Mom had sewn for me when I was a little girl. We cut the many triangles using cardboard patterns over Christmas break 1986.

Quilt as Curtain Reflection. Photo: TLClark, 8/8/2013.

When my beloved and I moved into our current home, there were no window coverings so Grandma’s quilt became the master bedroom curtain until we could get blinds hung. The only reason I have pictures is because of the reflection of the back-lit quilt on the glass of a framed doily!

Photo Challenge: Number

3.5″ Square. Photo: TLClark, 2/14/2020.

A few numbers in the life of a quilter.

Measure twice; cut once. And hold the ruler firmly before making that cut! (Couldn’t take a picture with one hand AND hold the ruler AND use the rotary cutter.)

Posted in response to Tuesday Photo Challenge – Number by Dutch Goes the Photo!

Somehow I never got around to posting for the prior photo challenge, but I took some pictures!! So here’s just a bit of the action required for creating a quilt block using the pink square shown above.

SEW: Sewing machine needle at rest and and then in action. Note that the horizontal screw on the right holds the needle in place so it has go up and down and up and down with the needle.

PRESS: First with fingers, then with iron.

Finger Pressing. Photo: TLClark, 2/14/2020.
Press (do not iron). Photo: TLCLark, 2/14/2020.

CUT: Stack two strip sets, cut into 2″ widths.

Sew some more. Press. Repeat as necessary.

Chain Piecing Four-patches. Photo: TLClark, 2/14/2020.

Finished block! One of more than 100 I’ve made for the 2020 Stash Buster Challenge.

2020 Stash Buster Block. Photo: TLClark, 2/14/2020.

Photo Challenge – Rest

Rest: the silence in music that makes the music music.

Rest and Rhythm. Photo: TLClark, 2/8/2020.

Rest: asleep, safe and secure.

Rest in Grandpa’s Arms. Photo: TLClark, 9/25/2019.

Rest: quilts made with love and a prayer for sweet dreams.

Pick a Quilt! Photo: TLClark, 2/8/2020.

Rest: relaxing with feet up.

Fuzzy Feet Resting. Photo: TLCLark, 2/8/2020.

Rest: eternal peace.

Rest in Peace. Photo: TLClark, 9/27/2019.

Posted in Response to Tuesday Photo Challenge – Rest by Dutch Goes the Photo!

Putting the Pieces Together

Stringing a few words together to make a sentence,
A few sentences to write a paragraph,
And a paragraph or two to create a post
Seems tough going for me this week.

But piecing fabric into quilt blocks has happened!

2020 Stash Buster Challenge – Sunshine & Shadows layout plus fabric yet to be cut and sewn.

The 2020 Stash Buster Challenge has been a bit addictive. Whether it is yardage purchased for a project that never got made or pieces that just had to be taken home, most quilters have fabric stowed away. The goal of the challenge is to turn some of that stash into a quilt. (Find more information and the pattern here.)

The little four-patches just make me smile.

3.5″ unfinished Four-Patch

The larger four-patches are made with two small four-patches and two 3.5″ squares.
The blocks can be put together at least nine different ways to make interesting patterns.

First blocks for the 2020 Stash Buster Challenge – Strong Streaks layout.

In other piecing news, we finally finished this jigsaw puzzle! It has lots of irregularly shaped pieces that made the trees with snow fairly difficult. So difficult, in fact, we talked about putting it back in the box without finishing it.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing,
may the pieces fall together easily today.

Photo Challenge: Common

Pincushion and Scissors. Photo: TLClark, 12/17/19.

Once upon time – when I was but a child – my mother had common sewing tools. I have similar tools today: a red pincushion and a pair of orange-handled fabric scissors. Those who own fabric scissors share a common rule: THOU SHALT NOT USE THE FABRIC SCISSORS ON PAPER (OR ANY OTHER NON-FABRIC MATERIAL).

When my mother started quilting, her tool kit expanded. I have followed her lead, becoming a quilter and acquiring modern tools of the trade.

Common Tools for Quilters. Photo: TLClark, 12/17/19.

Common quilter’s tools include:

  • Cutting mat (background), rotary cutter (bottom left), and specialty rulers (three shown);
  • Thread in neutral colors;
  • Long, thin pins on a magnetic pin holder;
  • Small pair of scissors;
  • and a good seam ripper (for un-sewing, sometimes called Jack).

Q: What is the difference between a beginning quilter and an experienced quilter?
A: The experienced quilter keeps her seam ripper handy.


I used most of the tools – plus a few others – earlier today making quilted Christmas cards.

Quilted Christmas Cards. Photo: TLClark, 12/17/19.

Posted in response to this week’s Tuesday Photo Challenge: “… it might be interesting to go for something rather Common… Whether it is the every day, common object or the things that you have in common, or crossing the town common.”

Photo Challenge: Self-Portrait

Self-Portrait. Photo: TLClark, 12/14/19. Taken with a Samsung Galaxy J7 smart phone.

For Khürt’s Smart Phone Challenge : Use your smart phone to “take a picture that tells us who you are, without actually showing your face.”

Those who know me well don’t need much of an explanation. Books, a camera, some quilting, and a paten and chalice paint a pretty good picture of who I am.

I am the daughter and granddaughter of quilters, but it it has only been in the last ten years that that I have become a quilter. The wall-hanging of flowers reflects my love of nature. The table runner shows my interest in music and states my firm conviction that “All Are Welcome” (song by Marty Haugen, words stitched below the notes) in God’s realm.

The paten and chalice are symbols of my being an ordained pastor and teacher in the United Church of Christ. Although not currently serving a church, I do pulpit supply (preach and lead worship) when colleagues are away on a Sunday morning.

The camera was a Christmas gift from my husband a dozen years ago. My first SLR camera was a combined Christmas and 16th birthday present from my parents. I caught the photography bug from Dad. He took pictures and developed the B&W film; Mom printed pictures in our home darkroom.

Thanks to parents who read to me, I have been a reader for as long as I remember. When I was in trouble as a child it was likely because I had my nose in a book. A common refrain from my teen-age years: “turn off the light, you need to go to sleep.”

Notes about the books I chose for the photograph.

  • Mister God, This Is Anna by Fynn. Be aware of wonder. It’s a big, beautiful world and there is much to be amazed by and marvel at.
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Listen to your heart. Follow your dreams.
  • The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Be willing to take a risk. Know that things are not always what they seem.
  • Dakota: A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris. A beautiful description of the land and the people not so far from where I grew up.
  • Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott. A wise and witty account of coming to faith in a “series of staggers from what seemed like one safe place to another.”
  • This Day: Sabbath Poems Collected and New by Wendell Berry. Who knew I’d like poetry!!

THIS DAY

After the long weeks
when the heat curled the leaves
and the air thirsted, comes
a morning after rain, cool
and bright. The leaves uncurl,
the pastures begin again
to grow, the animals and the birds
rejoice. If tonight the world
ends, we’ll have had this day.

“This Day” by Wendell Berry

Quilt Block: Mini Stars

When the instructions say to cut 96 squares 1 1/4″ x 1 1/4″, the best bet might be to walk away.  But I had already made 50 different quilt blocks for a mystery quilt block sew-along.  So, a deep breath, a little planning for fabric placement, and I began.

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Using 2″ squares of the background fabric (in this case a light color), I started making square-in-a-square units using the flippy corner method.

That’s my thumb to give you an idea of how little these blocks are.

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Pressed, trimmed, and arranged on a design board.

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More flippy corners sewn and ready to be pressed and trimmed.

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The square-in-a-square units are finished.

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The remaining points for each star are a standard flying goose unit.  Sorry, no picture.  (A flying goose quilt block looks like half a square-in-a-square plus a 1/4″ for seam allowance.)

The travel iron was very handy when it came to pressing all those seams.  The back is attractive in it’s own way.

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Here’s the block.  It was supposed to measure 6 1/2″ by 12 1/2″ at this point.  Mine is a little large but I was rather pleased to have actually completed it!

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The block pattern is “Star Power” by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings for Block Heads 2 (Moda Fabric’s 2018 Block-of-the-Week).

Can you find it in the completed quilt top?

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Next for this quilt: batting, backing, quilting and binding.  But probably not anytime soon!