An Exciting Friday Finish!!!

It has been excessively hot and humid here; we’ve had days and days of over 90 degree heat. The gardens are growing away and though it’s time to re-plant some veggies, they don’t need my attention. And of course the weeds are growing too, but oh well. So I’ve been indoors more, working on the Double Nine Patch quilt top. Sewing the squares together on the diagonal means that they get quite large and unwieldy and do not fit on the design board anymore.

Double nine patch sewing

This middle strip is 104″ long and if you are good at geometry, you get that!

Too big for design wall!

Those of you who follow my blog know that I don’t often finish projects, so this is A Red Letter Day. The Double Nine Patch top is nearly done! In looking through my blog posts, I found that I started it last July, so this isn’t a bad finish for me…

Triple Nines!

To complete the top, I need to decide how long the border strips will be, so that the quilt will tuck under our thick new mattress. The color inspiration was the scrap of fabric on the headboard. Though the windows have shutters and don’t need curtains, I plan to make some to break up all the wall space. {And re-paint the walls…}

Triple Nines color inspiration

I actually finished on Thursday and was all set to photograph the quilt on our bed – but – His Nibs was napping and I didn’t want to bother him. ;-D

Gizmo's nap

I’m doing a little happy dance now…

Fiddling with Color

I promised myself that when I started making the extra 5 wheels for the enlarged quilt design, that I wouldn’t be too fussy. As I said in the last post about this – my plan was to quickly pick colors and sew them. Ha! With the wheels done, I thought I should assemble everything on the design wall and give it a look. Ha again!

Double Nine Patch mock-up

The wheel in the bottom row, middle, bothers me. Even Peter noticed it when he eyed my progress the other day. It’s not that I need them to match or I would have used the same fabrics for each wheel. But that one sticks out! Why? I finally decided that it was the yellow that offended me and made the wheel way colder than the others. Truth be told, most of the wheels are not in my “color comfort zone”. I have been purposely trying to make them cool and not as ferociously bright as I usually make my quilts.

Wrong colors...

One of these oranges looks like it will help that wheel be friendlier with the others…

Better color...

The topic of being too fussy and re-doing projects is often kicked around by those of us who make things. I have learned over the years, that if it bothers me, it bothers me and it had better come out! The last thing Peter wants to hear before we get into bed is “Why didn’t I change that wheel? I do not like the colors!”.

Once I sew this wheel, I am going to stop being overly critical of the others and get the double nine patches done.

What are you ripping out today???

Back to the Double Nine Patch

At least I’m trying to work on it! The yard has been very demanding this year and the weeds have been dreadful. It hasn’t helped that we have bought a lot of perennials and shrubs to plant. And the vegetable gardens have been producing like mad. English peas, spinach and lettuce are done, but we’re enjoying snow peas and squashes and carrots. The baby tomatoes are still green; the big ones starting to flower. Strawberries are here for another week or so and peaches started awhile back. Life is good!

I can be very messy and scattered, but I am careful with quilting projects. I never throw away anything while I am working on a top. Nothing goes in the trash until the binding is sewn on the quilt. It’s a good practise and it’s made life easy to get back to making more wheels for the Double Nine Patch quilt. The original quilt had four wheels and now I need a total of nine, so I have been creating lots of colorways. This time around I’m not being so particular in the fabric choices! I’ve been rooting through the batik shelves and cutting wedges in colors/fabrics I like and pinning them up. And then I start moving them around to see who plays well together while referencing the four that are completed. This is the view from my desk area where it’s easy to see what goes with what.

More wheel colors

When I am happy with a color combination, I sew it together. (3 to go.) Slowly, but surely, I am making progress.

Making wheels

I went to the fabric store the other day and the fabric I used for the backgrounds of the original four is gone, so I chose a new one. That will mean some re-arranging of the original blocks, but it’s always fun to have to adapt. And really, the scrappier the better.

Procrastination – Sometimes A Good Thing!

There are UFO’s in several closets and I rummaged around last week to find this quilt for our bedroom which I was calling the double nine patch. Sometime ago, I picked out the background fabric and then tucked it away a closet.

Double nine patch background

Procrastination was a good thing in the case of this quilt, because a few weeks ago, Peter and I bought a new mattress. The old one was 25 years old!!! The sales lady kept explaining the features of all the mattresses on sale and we just looked at her, because ours was so basic. The men who came to bring the new one and take away the old one had been doing that job for 20 years. “I’ve never seen a mattress like this one!” they told us. (Needless to say, we are very much enjoying our comfortable new mattress.)

The point of all this is that the new box springs are much smaller, but the mattress is much, much thicker; so much so that the quilt we’re using does not tuck in at the bottom. It’s annoying because it means that every morning the bed needs to be completely re-made. Thus new quilt needs to be a good bit larger.

I put the pieces I’d already sewn on the mattress and moved them around and determined that the best thing to do is to make 9 wheels, instead of 4. Using the original design, there would have too much border. So back to the machine I go…

Nine wheels


Wheels in Progress…

I’ve been fiddling with color combinations. I pieced the bottom right one in a flash and feel like it is a bit bright and clear; my usual color choice. The pales in the double nine patches are grayer…


Instead of bending over the wheels on the floor, I finally laid the quilt pieces on the design wall. You actually can see in this photo, that I chose a warm colored batik for the background squares. I’m all about adding as much color and texture as possible, even if I am using a more subtle color scheme than usual. I am still not sure about the upper left wheel…

Design Wall Auditions

And it appears that I mindlessly pieced way too many squares before I chose the quilt design! I think they will make a nice border. I am enjoying these colors so I’m happy to piece more of them for the connector squares.

A border



It Was A Dark & Stormy Day…

Hooray! This Summer in South Carolina has been endlessly hot, humid and sunny. Yesterday the storm clouds arrived early in the morning and we had several downpours during the day. One was really violent with probably 50 mph winds and we lost power for about two hours. On a day like that, I declare it to be an indoor day. {When I lived in Singapore, except for Monsoon Season in January, it was mostly sunny, hot and humid. When we would have a cloudy day, my friend Beth and I would call each other up and discuss what we were going to do on our indoor day! When it’s nice out, you just feel the need to be doing something in the sun.}

Of course I decided to sew some more nine patches. Then, because I had so many of them, I sewed some double nines as well. When I completed nine double nines, I realized that if I use the medallion type layout, that I was done piecing. I put a fresh sheet on our bed and tried out the different layouts.

Here is a reminder of the first layout, the horizontal one. I’m adding these thumbnails in so you can see the whole design. It’s hard to lay squares out on the bed and really get the whole picture.

Master bedroom quilt idea 2

Obviously I can add more squares on each row, or leave it as is and have a large border. I like to make square, symmetrical quilts for our queen sized bed so that I can rotate them, for even wear. Cats, accidents, the sun from the window all “weather” a quilt.

Straight pattern

Here is the medallion layout.

Masterbedroom quilt idea 4

It’s just nine double nines with a border fabric (on the right) which is so pale that you can hardly see it! This design would be centered on the bed and have lots of border fabric to make it the correct size.

Medallion layout

And this is the four on point design…

Masterbedroom quilt idea 3

…with the whole bed covered in double nines on point.

Four on point layout

Peter helped me arrange the squares and we discussed the merits of each layout. He thinks I should make the middle design – the medallion one. (I like that one too!) He’s been noticing that the new Sweet Sixteen machine has been quiet this Summer as I dart in and out of the studio. Those big borders have lots of room for machine quilting. I hope I’m up to the task!

Next up – what to put in the medallion part of the quilt.

Itchin’ to Stitch!

I have been working outside for months. Not complaining, just saying. It’s so hot now, I keep thinking I won’t work outside so much, but the gardens call to me, there’s always something to do or pick! I go into the studio to read e-mail, write posts and browse Pinterest, but I miss creating. At times like this I need a mindless sewing project. I did a little shopping at one of the quilt shows I recently attended and picked out all these cool, pale batiks. I am always very influenced by where we live and all this hot weather makes me want to have cool colors around me. Aren’t they wonderful?


So what do I mean by mindless sewing? Something I can do for a few minutes and then move on. I decided on a double nine patch. I’ve had some ideas floating around in my head for a new quilt for our bedroom. A coooool quilt! Here are some nine patches mindlessly sewn… ;-D

Lots of nine patches!

And here are a few double nine patches sewn together. I know that you can’t see the background fabric I am using in the double nines. I bought it quite awhile ago – it has small concentric circles in pale grey or green. I know it reads like white, but it’s not white. I rarely use white.

Some Double Nines

So I had a bunch of squares done and thought I should get on EQ7 to decide on a layout. That’s what I like best to do with that software is play with layouts. In The Dark Ages, I colored patterns on graph paper, which I really still like to do. Then I would give them to Peter who would photocopy them in the office. When he brought them home, I would cut the squares out and lay them all over the floor and ponder ideas. And then one of the cats (Widget or Schminky in those days) would run through and that would be that!

Here is one idea, a horizontal layout. Lots of double nines and lots of empty squares for something. The double nines are about 14″ and all the quilt designs are drawn to be about 84″. The top of the bed is about 60″ so I want the quilt to look nice on that space.

Master bedroom quilt idea 2

And here are the double nines on point. I am always surprised at how different this looks and how the math changes. Geometry – not my best subject!

Masterbedroom quilt idea 4

In this version, the top and sides of the queen sized bed would be covered with the double nines. In the one above, the nine double nines { ;-D } would be centered on the top of the bed with a lot of background around them. It is almost like a medallion type design. The blank lavender squares will have something in them as well, which I will think about once I choose the layout.

Masterbedroom quilt idea 3

So as I piece and garden and swim, I can think about what layout I like. What are your thoughts???