February 5, 2015: Advantages of a Design Wall; Changing my mind!


After my post last week on some decisions regarding “Joyful Noise,” I studied the piece on my design wall and changed my mind about the sashing.  I strongly urge all quilt artists to create some type of design wall so the layout of pieces can be studied and assessed over time.  Many times initial impulses to do things one way or another turn out to not be right for the piece. After a couple days of looking at JN with the green sashing, I decided that it looks much better with no sashing at all.  I decided I do like the little orange squares in the center of the blocks and plan to keep that idea.  I proceeded to make the setting and corner triangles so you now can see the “square” center of the quilt (click to enlarge):

2515 On the design wall#1


2515 JN full

And a closer view (not all the blocks have the orange centers tacked up):

2515 JN close


I also spent the past week wondering if I should enlarge the size of this quilt and make it rectangular to make it a bed quilt and I spent a lot of time thinking about a border.  My husband challenged me to consider doing something other than a vine for a change.  I spent time looking at borders of lots of quilts and I pulled out my books on borders to study possibilities:

2515 Borderbooks#1

The one of the far right features my “Keeping Autumn With Me” border on the front and inside!!

2515 Borderbook#2mine

2515 KAWM in book#1

2515 KAWM #2

I believe the book is still in print and I’m sure it’s available used if anyone is interested!!  In any case, after hours of looking at borders, i couldn’t really come up with anything pieced that felt just right.  This morning I asked Al his opinion on the size and he thinks it would make a great wall quilt rather than bed quilt and he fully understood that because of the all the “spikiness” and sharp edges in the center, a curved, “viney” border might be just the thing to contrast and soften that effect.  So….I am back to thinking about an appliqued, maybe “viney” type border and I feel much more enthusiastic about designing something.

In a few free moments here and there I have been appliqueing more circles for the “Improv project” with no idea yet what I’ll eventually do with them.  It’s an adventure!:

2515 Improv project


I have completed 99.9% of the quilting on Spring Sonata!   I cut the fabric strips for the binding and I removed all the basting stitches.  I just completed all the quilting in the 4 corner blocks:

2515 SS corner

The green background of these corner blocks is not batik and was so much easier to quilt than the rest of the border background!!   I will never again plan to hand quilt something that has a significant amount of batik fabric in it.  A little bit is OK, but it’s definitely harder to do, requires more hand strength and energy and isn’t as relaxing as quilting regular cotton fabrics.  I’ve learned my lesson!

Grandchildren alert!  We recently visited the grandkids and here they are with their pet lizard:

2515 Dmitri with Basil

2515 Sveta with Basil

While there I got to see Sveta’s new quilt on her bed:

2515 Sveta'sQat home

I also got to see the quilt I made my daughter many, many years ago for her to take to college with her.  It is made of 30’s reproduction fabric squares but is hand quilted in a baptist fan pattern all over in the center and a cable in the border:

2515 Ingrid'sQfull

2515 Ingrid'sQclose

I completed piecing the first doll quilt of this year’s “Trio” and basted the layers together so it is ready for hand quilting some time before the annual guild show in October:

2515 DQ#1full

A bit closer”

2515 DQ#2close

I promised a couple posts ago to show you my idea for the second of the “Trio” of doll quilts.  Here is a picture of the inspiration from the Gerald Roy book of quilts from the “Quilts and Color” exhibition at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts last year:

2515 Amish#1

I fell in love with this purple color.  I went through my stash to see if I could find fabrics close enough in color, truly hoping that I didn’t need to buy more fabric for this.  I came up with the fabrics in the picture below and think they are close enough.  These are “shot cottons” similar to what I used in last year’s Amish mini and that came out really well.  The border fabric and a couple of others have a subtle stripe in them, but I think it will be OK.  My next challenge with this is to decide what size to make it (the original is a regular size quilt, not a mini), how big the triangles will be and how many to make, and figure out the best way to piece this:

2515 Amish#2



I think that covers updates on everything for now (nothing new on Sweet Journeys since last week). My recovery from surgery is nearly complete and I return to work next week.  The pace of my recent quilting progress will no doubt slow considerably!!!

Thank you reading; cherish each day!   Gladi


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