Sad sad quilter

I was doing more fan quilting this morning and I just love the loft from the wool batting.

But then I took a few steps back from the quilt and realized that the fan quilting was messing with the lines of the block piecing.  The loft of the batting and the shape of the fans were distracting.  It kind of reminded me of funhouse mirrors.  That is not a look I go for in my quilting.

fan quilting

As most of you know, string blocks involve a lot of piecing and a lot of love.  When some strings finish at ¼ or ½", it takes a long time to finish a 12" block.  It just didn't seem respectful of the time put in by my bee mates to quilt them in a way that took away from the strings.

block close up

So, I'm ripping out all of the fan quilting.  It is almost halfway done, so that is a lot of stitches to rip.  But I quilted some varied width diagonal lines on the other half of the quilt and I think that this plan is going to work better.

diagonal quilting

Just send me some extra patience with my seam ripper for the next two or three days.

Basting and Quilting Process via Instagram Photos

My apologies if you've already seen these pictures on IG or on flickr. I just thought that I'd actually photograph and talk about my process. 

Here is the quilt back spread out on my floor after I finished sewing it.  You can see the quilt top in a crumpled heap at the top left of the picture.  I hate measuring things larger than my cutting mat, so I just use the quilt top spread out to determine approximately how big the back needs to be.  The block in the foreground is made entirely of selvages from the fabrics used in the quilt.

Sewing a quilt back.

Here is the quilt back lightly stretched and taped to my floor with the wrong side up. 

Backing taped to the floor.

I'm using Hobbs wool batting for the first time.  This is also the first time I spray basted a quilt that is full bed size.  The spray and roll technique worked okay for the back, but the wool batting was misshapen from the packaging process.  It needed a LOT of smoothing to work out the batting "bubbles." 

My first use of wool batting. Spray basting with 505.

The quilt top started as a bee quilt by the members of the It's Sew Easy Bee-ing Green Bee.  I received 12 blocks in the bee and then made another 30 blocks to make the size I wanted.  I used the spray and roll technique here, too, but the adhesive mist made the top messier than I wanted.

Spray basting the top now.

My white border was a complete mess.  When I sewed it on I had the border fabric on the bottom.  I guess that was a bad idea.  I had an hour of quality time stretched out on my belly with the seam ripper in hand. 

The quilt is smooth but the border is a mess. I'll have to use the #seamripper.

I'm not familiar with wool batting and I don't entirely trust spray basting, so I reinforced it with some pins.

This could take awhile...

Then I spent many hours with templates and a Frixion pen marking a fan pattern over the entire quilt top.

Can it still be called free motion quilting when I've marked every line with Frixion pen??

And here is a small section that has been quilted and then ironed to remove the pen markings.  It will take me many more days to finish the quilting.  I'm looking forward to seeing the wool batting puff up after washing. 

A little of the quilting after ironing the Frixion pen out.

For anyone that is curious, previous posts about this quilt are here, here, here, here, and here. That's what happens when a quilt is started in January 2011 and doesn't get quilted until two and a half years later. 

The last few Farmers Wife blocks

I finally returned to my Farmers Wife quilt.  I had a few more blocks to remake and most of them were paper pieced, so I stalled for a long long time. 

farmer's wife sampler, block 70

The yellow in the chicken fabric above just didn't work with the other colors in the quilt.  At first I thought I could calm the yellow with a blue, but that didn't work, then I tried a different blue floral with the red plaid below and that didn't work either.  Thankfully this block is not paper pieced because 4 tries was bad enough. 

prairie queen block

farmer's wife sampler, block 36

I definitely had to paper piece the flower garden path block.  I kept the same fabrics, but this time the block didn't end up as a rectangle with wonky center points. 

Redo of block 36 flower garden path for #farmerswifequilt

farmer's wife sampler, block 22

I lost a number of the triangle points on the corn and beans block above.  The background gray didn't work with my chosen sashing either.  Even with paper piecing, the seams in the block below are thick so the block doesn't lie perfectly, but it will have to do. 

corn and beans

farmer's wife sampler, block 43

For my first version of the garden path block, I thought that the yellow fabric was far too prominent and the other fabrics were too tropical.  I like the second version much much better. 

My very last farmers wife block and I am in love.

And, lastly, I made this paper pieced version of the spider legs block.  I didn't even try to make this one with the templates so it is the first try for this bock.  I love the purple and peach combination.

Spider legs block 82

I have the quilt top pieced together, but it needs a lot of pressing before I try to take any pictures, so you'll have to wait a few days.

Giveaway Winner

prize and a giveaway prize and a giveaway

I had planned on sewing together some of those charms I cut to show you what I was going to do with the red and cornflower blue fabrics (big hint: simple patchwork), but that just hasn't happened.  So, I still need to pick a winner.  The random number generator chose Jackie!  I'll be emailing you shortly, Jackie.

Thank you to all of you for your comments.  Who knows what will happen the next time I put a sharp blade in my rotary cutter.


I don't think I've ever been so deeply in love with a traditional patchwork quilt before.

Americana on the grass

Most of these fabrics are Suzuko Koseki, Lecien, Anna Maria Horner, Denyse Schmidt, a little Moda Hometown and some Lakehouse seed packet fabric.  I challenged myself by using red, white and blue and muted tones while trying to make this traditional palette look modern.  So, I named this one Americana.

Americana medium range

I think the perle cotton big stitches and x's in black really make this quilt.

stitching close up

stitching close up

Here is the back.

Americana full back

The part that took the longest was burying the diagonal stitches of the x's in between the layers of the quilt so you can only see horizontal and vertical lines on the back. 

back close up

Here is a shot after washing the quilt.  The binding is from Moda's Mama Said Sew line.  I love that charcoal dictionary print.

Americana after washing

Right now this quilt is neatly tucked next to the couch, but I'm certain that soon it will be dragged into service for Henry.  His favorite books seem to need a lot of naps in my bed lately.  "Buzz book sleeping...shhhh...Wake UP!"

Americana on a tree bough

Fields of Green

One of my favorite things about my home state of Wisconsin is driving on the highway and seeing the fields planted on either side of the road.  I love the plowed dirt, the rows of yellow-green seedlings, the half grown plants all deep green and healthy and the late season plants that start turning olive green before the fall.  Green is the largest part of my fabric stash and my scraps.

A friend of mine is a CSA farmer in Wisconsin and she just had a baby.  I've never made a monochromatic quilt before but this time I just had to try.


Lots of different greens and then the organic lines of quilting seemed like a good fit.  And I love the bright veggies on the back.


Here is a picture of the quilting lines after washing the quilt.

after washing

This one measures 44 x 48" and features a thin batting which makes it a good light summer quilt.  I hope that my baby farming friend likes it.


Fabric cutting and a giveaway

I put another new blade in my cutter and went crazy this week.  I pulled my entire collection of red fabrics out and picked my favorites and best matches to make a charm pack  (40 prints--I cut up 6 more after the photo)

prize and a giveaway

and then the holiday influenced me and I grabbed my cornflower blues to make a smaller charm pack (20 prints).

prize and a giveaway

I made four of these red and cornflower blue stacks of charms.  Two for me, one for a bee friend and one to giveaway here.

prize and a giveaway

Just leave a comment by Friday July 12th and I'll choose a winner at random.  If you have a no reply blogger account, please leave your email address in your comment.