New York Beauty


A Google image search for New York Beauty quilt will show you how popular these quilts are.

My friend Bill Volckening (see his blog here ) has a terrific collection of New York Beauty quilts that spans over 150 years.    He has written a book, due in April, about these great quilts. The coffee table book will have over 300 pages with 70 quilts made between 1850 and present day; all examples and variants of the complicated patchwork design best known as New York Beauty.

I was lucky to have a part in a few of the quilts.   I hand quilted a few of the vintage quilt tops that he collected. remember this quilt?


and this


and this


here is a preview of the contents


I am really looking forward to reading it!   Advanced copies can be ordered here

Happy quilting and reading


Just found out they have more pages to see at this link:





I have been working on this quilt today.


All those colors.  and I started thinking about how changing a color changes a quilt.

Remember this?


and how changing it by adding red it changes the whole look


I thought it would be fun to look at the melons with a few other colors

It really changes the whole look to change the background fabric.

green-orange orange purple

So now I have a ton more quilts to make :) LOL

Happy Quilting


Quilt Design


Yesterday I wrote about this quilt top


I posted it to a few Facebook groups and had some comments about the design.   Since I so often work on vintage or antique tops, made by someone else years ago, I don’t usually need to be concerned about the design.  It is fun to make up a design myself.  When I teach floral design I tell the students that 80-90% of a design’s success is based on the selection of materials. Quilting is much the same.

This quilt top stated with the previous quilt top.


Cutting out the setting pieces left me with a pile of melon shaped leftovers in solid black and red print.

starting with that I selected fabrics to go with the melon pieces.


I selected these because I wanted variety in scale of the prints and I wanted to keep it all red and white and black.

The large print (Hello Dahlia by P&B)  was a great find.   The shape of the petals in the print mimic the shape of the melons.


going back to what I teach in floral design;  One way to create “rhythm” (visual movement) in a floral design is repetition. Visually our eyes play connect the dots looking for repeated elements of color, shape, material etc.

For the red dot fabric I selected  black with red pattern.  I almost used solid black but selected this because I didn’t want the center to be that visually heavy..


Solid black would have overpowered the center.

In floral design we try to use a variety of textures and scale.   Think of roses and baby’s breath.   The Rose is large and velvety and the baby’s breath is small and feathery, the contrast adds a lot of interest..   I selected fabrics of various scales and visual textures for the same reason.

Now for the quilt layout.

When I first posted the top I had the center 9 blocks


My plan was just a few little sketches.  I do not make a fully developed pattern before I start but I do visualize in my mind how it will look.

Here are my simple sketches


The one on the post it was the first thought.  I have little post it pads everywhere so I can write down ideas before they disappear.

The top left picture was next.   but it would have made a quilt way larger than I wanted so I simplified the plan and that is the 3rd sketch.

I will make up a pattern when I am finished but it is very simple.

I started to get the corner pieces ready to applique.   I am not a fan of needle turn so I pressed  under the edges and starched


I have a tiny little iron


It helps prevent burned fingers but I find that it doesn’t do the job as well as I would like so I re press with the big iron after I get the edges turned under with the small one.

Teddy is Dressed for St Patric’s Day


His groomer always has seasonally appropriate fabric.

Happy quilting






It Grew


Yesterday I posted about making this quilt top


I said I would join the blocks and then add a border.

I have a hard time keeping things simple so I rotated the top and did this


Next I have to use the dreaded A word…applique

I have the pieces in place but I still need to applique them


Here is a picture of Teddy on the quilt top


It is 80 inches square.

And I think I am done once the applique is done

Happy Quilting


Xs and Os


I made progress on the next melon block top.

It will be 9 blocks 18″ each, and I will add borders.   I have lots more fabrics.


Yesterday I was asked about the back because there is so much bulk in the seams where the 4 units join.

I press the seams to the center


here are the 4 units joined.


The same for the other blocks but different arrangement of the units


Lots of layers of fabric there in the intersection at the center.

I am really not an accurate piecer. I know I could do better but it really is not that important to me to be perfect.  For me close enough is fine.

I don’t use a fancy machine, I have a vintage Singer 301a and I love it.  The tape on the throat plate helps my seam allowance size, I don’t have a 1/4″ foot.


I am calling the quilt  Xs and Os

Here is an X


and an O


and here are all 9


Borders next, but I need to decided what I want to do with them.

Teddy is not offering an opinion, but enjoying watching the progress


Time for a piecing break.   I think I will do some hand quilting ;)

Happy quilting


Creative Lady


Today on Facebook I got called a Creative Lady.

Here is my Facebook profile picture


Do I look like a lady? I do appreciate the creative part, but Lady?

I posted a picture of fabrics that I have an idea for, and the picture generated the comment.


So what is the plan for the fabrics.

First I need to review.  Remember when I made this


When I cut the pieces I was left with a lot of melon shaped pieces of the black and the red, here are some of the black on the red fabric.DSCN5706

I decided to use those melons to make another quilt (this could go on forever because I will have more melons left from cutting out this one.

I am suing the red on the black print.


and the black on the floral


The floral is from a line called Hello Dahlia.  I really like that in this case I just get segments of the flowers.

I will have more blocks done soon and will show you the overall plan.

Happy quilting


Melons Pieced


I started setting these vintage melons in black fabric a few days ago.


Here was the plan for the finished quilt


I got 6 blocks done. (you can see I am getting quilt top buildup on my design floor)


I decided to change my plan.   I just needed to make it different, and everything is better with red, so I did the next blocks in red.

Teddy is testing them out. (the log cabin tops are sort of distracting under it but he didn’t mind)


He likes it.   There is plenty of room for him and his bone in the circles.


Here it is with all 12 blocks


I still need to join the blocks and then maybe add a border.  The finished size will be about 60″ 80″ so I might add a border to make it bed sized. I have more of the red and the black fabric and I have some idea for the border.

Happy Quilting