Tag Archives: hand piecing

Granny Squares baby quilt

Not for any particular baby. I’m just calling all of my small quilts (about 36″x48″) baby quilts. I have a 21 year old granddaughter- so someday they may have a recipient.

Meanwhile it is a good format for trying out patterns I’ve wanted to make. Even though it would have been an easy pattern to sew on the machine it is hand pieced.

There will be 12 squares and I’m planning on a two inch white sashing  and a four inch white border with a wonderful Kaffe floral print backing and binding. It will be custom quilted by Margaret Gunn. Not show quality quilting but definitely not edge to edge.

I’ll probably call it Nani Squares – that’s what my granddaughter calls me.


“Tropical Sunshine. The pattern is the two inch Drunkard’s Path from Inklingo. It is hand pieced and quilted by Margaret Gunn. It won third prize. Here it is at home:

And at the show:

The blue ribbon winner was “My Tiny Trip” by Janet Frank.

Second place was “Eye Catcher” by Pat Guildford.

Small Pieced

“Summer Days.” From the lyrics to one of the songs in “Grease.” The pattern is Inklingo Pie and Tarts. I thought that with the bright colors it looked more like beach balls or beach umbrellas than pies and tarts. The quilt is hand pieced except for the border and attaching the binding.

Here it is at the show. It won an Honorable Mention.

The blue ribbon winner was Kylie’s Kites by Suzy Prickett. Based on a pattern by Eleanor Burns.

Second Place “Happiness” by Sandra Sontag. Based on a pattern by Jacqueline de Jonge.

Third Place “Distortion” by JoAnn Cooper.

Mini category tomorrow.

Intermediate Pieced Duet

“Round And Round” from the great Perry Como song of the same name. The block is called Alabama Beauty. I used the Orange Peel Deluxe pattern from Inklingo. The quilt is entirely hand pieced to include the borders. I only used the machine to attach the binding. Quilted by Margaret Gunn.

The Alabama Beauty block is by Nancy Cabot and was published in the Chicago Tribune in 1933. My version bears no resemblance to the traditional block. It was usually just two contrasting colors. More about Nancy and her wonderful block here.

Here it is at home:

And here it is at the show. It won second place.

Here is the blue ribbon winner “Remember Italy” by Brenda Lewis. The pattern is Judy Niemeyer’s Glacier Star. My foto is blurred – sorry.

Third place is Scrappy Serpentine Stars by Jackie Mooneyham. From a Bonnie Hunter design.

More tomorrow…..

Blocking Tropical Sunshine

I haven’t blocked a quilt in years – so it was way harder than I remembered. I thought a mini would be easy. Uhhh.. NO!

If a quilt is six feet square the corners are pretty far apart and a tiny error will probably not be noticed. This is only 28″ square. It MUST be perfectly square. It’s staring you right in the face  – and a judge armed with a 12″ square ruler will readily see the tiniest error.

I pinned and unpinned and wet and re-wet and was almost in tears at one point.

I finally came up with the masking tape idea. You must first establish a perfectly square/straight edge to work from. I lay one of the laser lines along one edge of the tape and the other across the quilt.

First I measured across the middles to establish the size – which was 24″ from the outside edge of the narrow purple border. I even checked each row of blocks making sure they were straight. Finally I checked the corners with the 12″ ruler and measured across the diagonals – exactly 34″. It’s drying now.

When it’s perfectly dry I will trim and bind it. Sew on the hanging sleeve and label and start on the next one which is 36″ x 46″.

Ten rows of ten blocks joined

Now I am sewing the rows to each other. All by hand of course! It goes fairly quickly – one long straight line.

Alabama Beauty is quilted

AB full quilt
AB detail side view
AB red dot


The Alabama beauty arrived home safely yesterday. I LOVE it – Margaret did a spectacular job. Her photos are better than mine – you can see the details of the quilting .

See the photos and read about the details of the quilting process.

And here – back on the long arm for more quilting:

Mailing the finished quilt to Panama is always nerve-wracking for me. Margaret ships it via UPS it to our freight forwarder in Miami  (that’s the easy and safe part of the journey.) When it arrives in Panama it has to go through customs and I am always afraid that they are going to go wild with the box cutter and slice into the quilt. I always ask that Margaret put a piece or two or cardboard on the top of the quilt in case of a box cutter mishap. She did and – wouldn’t you know it – they cut the box open from the bottom! But nothing was damaged – thank goodness.

The quilt is quilted but there is still some work to do before I can block and bind it. Before Margaret even began the quilting she suggested that I appliqué some 1/2 inch circles/dots in the center of the red petals.

After much thought I have decided that I am going to take her advice. I was against it at first –  is it going to be perceived as a cover up of a less than perfect intersection?

Somehow it feels like a failure on my part that I couldn’t get it  absolutely perfect. But  Margaret convinced me that it would greatly enhance the competitiveness of the quilt – and after all I enter shows because it’s fun and winning ribbons is always a plus! If the damn dots may positively influence a judge – I’ll do it!

I think I have figured out why the decision to add the dots was difficult for me. I worked sooooo hard on those intersections and was very proud of how well I did – they lay flat and there were no holes. I sort of wanted to leave them that way to show the judge and the show atendees how well I had mastered a difficult technical challenge. But… now that it is so beautifully quilted I do admit they look a little “raw”  – somewhat unfinished.

Those dots are going to be very challenging – they wouldn’t have been easy if I’d done it block by block – but now I will be handling a whole quilt – that has been quilted! Yikes!

I have already started making the dots using my glue stick freezer paper on the top method. I am using dark purple on the 36 blocks with the purple points and a dark reddish orange for the 25 intersections with the yellow circle backgrounds.

The Alabama Beauty pattern – like the Joseph’s Coat – is often appliquéd – it certainly would have been far easier! So I hope the judges (at QuiltFest Jacksonville 2015) are going to be surprised to see a hand pieced Alabama Beauty :-)