Friday, December 2, 2016


'Her quilts are like a prayer...'  said about the work of Judy Martin

While randomly browsing the internet I came upon a write up about the work of Judy Martin, fiber artist extraordinaire (an article that I can no longer locate) and this is what the author said of her work. I immediately looked her up and she talks about slow contemplative and meditative quilting on her blog. I was intrigued by the concept and decided to give this a try. 

Using the reverse appliqué dot tutorial on her blog, I dived into my scrap bin and picked out some neutral and green pieces of fabric and got started. 

Humble beginnings....

I made a few blocks at first, things looked good so I continued making more. Then on a nineteen hour flight to Indonesia with my mom last February this was the perfect portable project to keep busy with. I finished with all appliqué pieces I had on hand and decided to start putting them together. I did not have a sewing machine handy so instead started to hand piece (excuse the poor lighting).

By the time I got back from the trip, I pretty much had all the pieces put together and the top measured about a yard. It was a great mother-daughter trip  and I think that made the project even more enjoyable.

Then to decide on the quilting. I had been doing a bit of 'Kantha' quilting lately so that seemed like an obvious choice.

Once again, little by little it grew. I thank everyone on Instagram for putting up with my progress pictures.

For the back I used this lovely print from Flea Market Fancy by Denyse Schmidt. After all that hand quilting, hand stitched binding was in order and soon - it was done.

I was thrilled with the outcome. Awesome texture and just so worth it. This was my prayer as brief as it may have been. 

Waited for a good sunny day and of course better pictures.

I decided to call this quilt 'Unplugged' akin to acoustic music. I did not use a sewing machine in the making of this quilt. Only implements used were a needle and a pair of scissors. Am amazed how the most primitive process can produce something with such a modern aesthetic...or that some looks are timeless. They never go out of style, always fresh and always current.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Courthouse Steps Bag

I recently purchased two patchwork books by Suzuko Koseki that were being decommissioned by a library. I love perusing the books and looking at the pictures. There is something simplistic and calming about them. This gave me an idea for my Seattle MQG swap. 

My swap partner Carrie loves Essex linen, bold colors and improv. I started by making small improv style courthouse blocks with different shades of green Kona cotton and black Essex linen and used those to put the bag together. 

I used Annie's Soft and Stable as lining instead of batting and was pleasantly surprised. It has a nice soft feel to it and yet gives good structure to the bag. It is a bit pricey though compared to batting.

I love the streamlined side profile.

For the inside I added a few extra pockets for utility. The binding around the seams hides the mess and gives it a neat professional look. I think it would make a great bag to carry sewing essentials in or toiletries on a weekend getaway.

I hope Carrie likes it as much as I have enjoyed making it. I should definitely make one for myself soon.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Scrap Management

I have not made very many scrap quilts nor am I good at utilizing my scraps, so over time my scrap bin has gotten out of control. I was forced to do something about it, just to make my sewing room a bit more tolerable. 

First thing I sorted my stash into piles by color. I was not too picky when it came to down to actual nuances of color like hues, light vs dark. Actually I did not have the patience for it. It was blue, green, yellow, red, orange, gray, black, brown and neutrals. A very broad categorization. This task itself took me a while and my sewing room looked as if it had been hit by a storm. Just the amount of lint in the room would make me cough and at one point I even contemplated wearing a mask. :)

After that I picked a color and started improv piecing like colored pieces together. It was like a jigsaw puzzle. Trying to find the right match to attach next. You constantly find yourself sifting through the pile for just the right scrap. Once the block got to a certain size, I would start another one. Even though this activity may sound relaxing in reality it does take a bit of thinking to fit the pieces together without cutting them up further. 

After making a few initial blocks I found that I did not like very large pieces dominate the block. I preferred smaller bits.  This way there was more interest and movement. So I changed up my strategy. If the piece was large enough for me to cut out 5"x5" square or a 2" strip I would cut those out, put them aside and work with what was left. This ensured that one fabric did not dominate the block and it had more movement.

I have made a bunch of blocks but not really sure what I will do with them. On the flip side I don't think I have made much of a dent to my scrap bin. This could just end up being a really long term WIP :)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Bloggers Quilt Festival - Fall 2016

I look forward to the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy Ellis every year as it is good to see all the great quilts out there and meet old and new quilting friends.

This year I am submitting my 'Weight of Love' quilt in the hand quilted category.

I started this quilt in Libs Elliot's workshop with the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild. Libs has a very trendy, techno, digital vibe in her work so I decided to take a different slant when putting her 'Weight of Love' pattern together. I went with more classic Peppered Cottons from Studio E fabrics. The colors are very saturated and have great depth.  

A ton of Y-seams later, I decided to hand quilt using DMC Perle Cotton thread in similar saturated colors. 

I simply love the texture it created. 

More about the making of this quilt here.

To see other great quilts please visit:

Category: Hand Quilted

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Dresden Quilt

I was looking to make a baby quilt for our friends who just had a little girl. Inspired by this fabric I picked up from Dry Goods Design a while back I decided to make Dresden blocks in matching colors. 

Kona color chart comes in real handy on such occasions. I was able to find the colors that closely matched the colors in the fabric.
  • Cactus
  • Citrus
  • Azalea
  • Breakers
  • Jade
  • Petal

I skipped the burnt orange and found a print by Lotta Jansdotter that matched the color for binding.

I used Wrights EZ Quilting Dresden Ruler and the petals are 3.5" in size. The center circle is 3.5" in diameter. I recently purchased a Grace Company 360 TrueCut Circle Cutter which made cutting the circles a breeze.

I machine appliquéd the Dresden plates on to 12" x 12" blocks of Kona white and pieced the top together.

For the quilting I went with stitch #4 on my Bernina and the walking foot. I increased the stitch length to 2.5 to get a more gentle curve. I like the texture it created. I think it tones down the otherwise stark lines of the blocks.

The quilt finishes at  36" x 48" and has a real fresh look to it. It reminds me of a kid's drawing.

This is a great quilt for a beginner and if you have any questions please free to contact me.

I recently got some labels printed from MadMadGraphics. I love how they turned out. One label attached and quilt packaged.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Weight of Love Quilt

In February, I took the Weight of Love workshop by Libs Elliot. Libs has a very edgy aesthetic and when picking fabric for her class I was torn between a vibrant modern palette or a more sedate contemporary one. In the end I could not resist cutting into the fat quarter bundle of Peppered Cottons by Studio E fabrics that I had purchased. They are just stunning in person and provided much needed color therapy while I was working with them.

I decided to use the entire stack of fabrics rather than limiting the palette to just a few colors. These were my picks. In some cases I mapped 2-3 fabrics for the same color slot. 

Cutting up the hexagons was the easy part. Sewing them together was a slow process with all the Y-seams and it took some perseverance. In retrospect a loose weave shot cotton was perhaps not the right choice for a pattern that required precision cutting and piecing. I had to heavily starch some of the pieces to make them easier to handle. 

Once the top was done I decided to add in a few hexagons as background to complete the top. I had already made up my mind to hand quilt this one with Perle cotton. I used size 8 thread and a good Sashiko needle for this. From previous experience with another hand quilting project I decided not to use Warm and Natural cotton batting as it is really hard on the fingers. Instead I used Hobbs Thermore Ultra Thin Polyster batting. The needle went through like butter. I used about 6 different colors of DMC Perle cotton to quilt this one.

Finally I faced the quilt as I am currently into the no binding look. This is going to be a wall quilt for the most part so facing seemed to fit the bill.

Finishing this quilt has been very satisfying. I am going to miss working on it. Leaving off with a few more pictures.

Linking up to: Quilt Story