Teddy the Quilt Model


Teddy is a real character.   Whenever I take the quilt out of the hoop he thinks I am going to take pictures and he gets excited.   If he sees me with the camera he really gets excited and wants to pose.

Last night I started work on hand quilting the wonky nine patch quilt.

Here it is pin basted….I use very few pins…..the hoop holds the layers together the pins just keep it in place until it is in the hoop


I am doing wavy lines for the quilting…no marking , just wavy lines with #8 perle cotton thread and a size 5 embroidery needle.


Today when I took it out of the hoop to move to the next spot Teddy decided it was time for him to pose.  here are the pictures from his photo shoot

He really does model like a pro ;)

Happy Quilting


Clearing the deck with a wonky nine patch


I made a new top today.  I decided it was better to use up the piles of fabric on the work table (which is actually the dining room table…but if you never put away the sewing machine you can call it a studio) than to put them away.  It seems like when I put things away they are gone forever.

Anyway I made a new top with 12 fat quarters.

I started by cutting them all into 9 inch squares (4 per fat quarter)


pick 2 and stack them (right sides up)

then cut them into 9


no measuring!  In fact you want them to be odd and wonky …the more asymmetrical the better (at least for me).

Next you separate them into two nine patch groups (remember there are 2 different fabrics in the pile)


sew them into rows


press the seams in alternating directions


sew the rows together




one block done


repeat for the other block


after all 48 blocks are done arrange them in whatever way you like


sew them all together


I added 2.5″ x 8″ strips (made from the leftovers) on the 2 sides to make it a bit wider….finished size is 50″ x 60″

I found some plaid flannel in my stock pile for the backing.

I think very simple hand quilting is in order

The design is based on one In the new book I posted about, Unconventional & Unexpected American Quilts Below the Radar 1950-2000, http://timquilts.com/2014/09/15/new-top/

Happy Quilting




Reconstruction has begun on the Indian Summer quilt top.


I posted about it here http://timquilts.com/2014/09/09/indian-summer/  and I started taking it apart last night.

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It is hard to get a good picture of the damaged blocks but some have all the seam allowances totally gone .  They were only about 1/8 inch and several washings has caused them to fray and separate.


most are just frayed.  The looser the weave on the fabric the more likely they are to fall apart.


After carefully removing all the pieces from the backing I spent some time pressing them.  I started with the biggest pieces.  Since the fabric has been washed many times I find that starch helps to add some body and makes re-piecing easier


I kept as many pieces together as I could and after sewing a few together I have this


and here are the other parts that still need pressing and repair before adding


The easy part is done….the rest will take some careful repair and I will post about that soon.

Happy Quilting


Update on snowflake


No new projects today so here are a few pictures of the hand quilting on the snowflake quilt. (click pictures to enlarge)


and since people sometimes ask here is the back


Happy Quilting


New top


I started making a quilt top about a year ago.    I was planning to do it with spiderweb blocks.


I made a few and it just didn’t feel right so in December (while cleaning up to decorate) I packed it away.   I started again on Sunday with a fresh perspective.   Over the course of the year I have expanded my view of quilts.   I still love the very traditional, but I also appreciate the less formal improvisational style.  When an idea strikes I need to go with it right away so that is what I did.

Using the same fabrics I did the piecing like I did in the last quilt.



I incorporated the blocks I had already finished into the top


Now i like it.   I might add a border


without a border it is 58 x 68 inches


Teddy looks good in(on) these colors

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The pictures without Teddy are a truer color ….I took the Teddy pictures without a flash so he eyes wouldn’t get spots.

I was very excited to get a new book today (I have been waiting for months for it to come out) Unconventional & Unexpected  American Quilts Below the Radar 1950-2000 by Roderick Kiracofe


I have one of his other books “The American Quilt:  A History of Cloth and Comfort 1750-1950″  and this book completes the story.    People often view quilting as nonexistent between the late 40’s and the quilt revival of the 70’s.  This book shows that this was not the case.  The nearly 150 quilts in this book are surprisingly improvisational, much like Jazz is to music .   The notes are the same but they are played differently.    It is a beautiful book and I highly recommend it.

Now that I have satisfied my improvisational desires for a few days I am back to work on some traditional hand quilting.

Happy Quilting


Indian Summer


I have yet another project to work on.   This one is a big restoration project.    My Friend Julie Silber contacted me recently about a quilt that had been  cannibalized for blocks.   She thought I might be interested in putting it back into a useable form.

Julie Silber is one of the world’s most respected quilt experts. She has been selling antique quilts to museums, businesses, and individuals since 1968. Julie was the curator of the world-renowned Esprit Quilt Collection in San Francisco and is the co-author of the critically acclaimed books, Hearts and Hands and Amish: The Art of the Quilt, and is an overall super person.

If you are a fan of antique and vintage quilts like I am you need to see her website http://www.thequiltcomplex.com/ be sure to look at the quilts for sale section, a great source of inspiration!

Julie sent me the quilt to look at to see if I want to buy it…..YES I do…we need to finalize the deal but I couldn’t wait to post some pictures.

The block has a few different names.

sunflower block

I am using the name Indian Summer because it seems seasonally appropriate.

This is how we would probably piece it today….with fans in the corners…..set together to make circles

sunflower block 2

and probably foundation paper pieced to get all those points to work out.

In this quilts the circles were pieced as one unit and attached to the pink and blue setting pieces. this was all hand pieced and not using paper piecing.


As you can see from the picture this was a tied quilt.   it has no batting so I imagine it was used in the summer.

I said that it was cannibalized for blocks.   someone started taking it apart, harvesting the circles presumably to use for some other project.


there were 80 circles and now there are 48

the circles are small.  about 7 1/2  inches finished size.   and the triangles are about 3/4″ at the base and 1 1/2 inches tall.


there is no binding, the edges are turned in and stitched to the back

Time for a little measuring

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I think I can rearrange the blocks (after I finish the job of taking it all apart) and make it into a small quilt of about 48″ x 60″

Each block is made with a different fabric. (click on the pictures to enlarge)


when I get it back together I plan to hand quilt it, even thought it was originally tied.   It was used and washed in its past and some of the blocks are showing the results of that.   The seam allowances are pretty far gone on some of the blocks and I will need to replace some of the fabrics in those blocks. I will post pictures of that when I get to work on it. ( I should have taken pictures of those rather than just the good ones) hand quilting it pretty densely will add strength to it and help keep the seams from further splitting.


I think it will make a very pretty little quilt!

I did do a little more Paper foundation piecing on the Batik project.

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As you can see I have a hard time getting the camera to give me consistent color on this.  I need to take some pictures in natural sunlight to get it right.   But you can get the idea.  Every block I do makes me more excited about how it is going to look.

here is the design again (computer mock-up)

Batik plan

Happy Quilting





Sunday Update

I have made a few more of the Batik Blocks…..only 91 to go now :)


Working on some more hand quilting

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I plan to make a pattern for this one as soon as I finish it.   I want to fine tune some of the details before I do that.


Now I need to get to work in the garden…..fall is starting and I need to start some clean up …pictures of the garden next time

Happy Quilting