Friday, September 25, 2020

How I Will Do It

It took me four tries, and in the end I had to cut something from one page and stick it on another because I didn't want to re-do the whole thing all over again. Basically every dark line you see is a seam. There will be three set in squares. Those are the dark blocks. It looks like there are four, but I won't need the one at the top because I plan to sew it a bit differently and erasing on a photocopy doesn't work very well.

Of course the finished quilt will be a bit different. Although I have a plan for how to sew these together, when it comes time to actually SEW them I will be doing it by eye so there is bound to be some variation. Also in the photo above, seam allowances are not taken into account. On the whole I think the arrangement will shrink a bit because of it.

And yes, this is hella complicated, but working one block at a time, one section at a time (I think there are 22 sections) I will make it through.


 This is the back of the bottom left section, seen from the wrong side.

Here I have sewn three sections together. Hint: they are at the very bottom. Since I have no idea how long this is going to take, and the pictures don't show much progress, don't expect day by day updates.

One thing however. I have had a couple of complaints that I do not show EXACTLY how I put the Fight of Fancy quilt together in my bird tutorial. (I mean, really?) I have had so many questions about it though, I added the link in the header that explains how I did it. I will DEFINITELY NOT be providing instructions on how I put this thing together. 

Thursday, September 24, 2020



I'll spare you the eleven other permutations this went through before it got here, but this is it. Well, it is IT before I start sewing it together. These asterisk blocks have been trimmed down to 6" squares.

When one of my students, Kerrin, saw this she texted, " That quilt looks GREAT! It looks like one of those blow away dandelions..."

And that was when I knew I had the layout right, because that is EXACTLY what I was going for.

So how am I going to sew it together, since these aren't arranged in anything like a row?

First, I modified the photo so I could see all the individual blocks. Then I will print this photo and figure out how I will group them so I can sew them into big chunks, and then sew those together. In other words, I am going to do it the same way I sewed the Flight of Fancy flimsy together. Go click that link and you will understand.

This is the back of the Life is Tweet quilt, and you can see how the process looks.

This is the upper right section of that quilt before I put it all together.

So what I am going to be doing over the next few days is extremely fiddly and fussy and complicated. Some things might not go exactly where I want them to. I am not going to cut any asterisks apart, but they may get trimmed a bit, like the bottom corner of the light pink one in the photo directly above.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Lifting Off


I rearranged the asterisks up on the design wall to see how they looked when they are randomly arranged. Now you might disagree, but to me this is pretty klunky.

I tried again, removing some of the asterisks, and putting more on the bottom and putting the lighter ones closer to the top to look like they are floating. But it's still not quite there.

Then I thought, well, how can I make them look like they're floating upwards if I don't show some of them "grounded." So here the bottom three rows look like they are gently swaying, and the others are sort of lifting. But it didn't really feel right.

Then I thought, well how can I make them float if I don't know where they started? So then I arranged them more or less in an organized way. Then I can make them float up in a way that might seem to make more sense.

 So I am getting closer. I made a few lovely light blue asterisks, and some pretty pinks. Many of them are in the last design wall photo.


I am now making some very dark purples and some pale ones. I'm getting closer.

This is a real pretty one!

Monday, September 21, 2020

The Garden Grows


I made some light yellow and light orange asterisks. I have added them to the design wall above.

I have been organizing my pieces in a quarter sheet pan.

Here is the lightest asterisk I have made so far. I have a collection of light pinks and light blues and light greens to make. Those will bring me up to about 72. After that I will make a few really dark ones, and then I will start to arrange them the way I want. Like the Selvage Fairy suggested, the Garden may need a butterfly or two and a Hummingbird may make an appearance.


Millie wasted no time in letting me know ALL quilts that come into this house belong to HER.


Oh, and the important thing today:


Sunday, September 20, 2020

Goose Rocks Beach, Quilted


The Goose Rocks Beach quilt has been quilted. The quilting design is called "Undertow," which is amazingly appropriate!

I made the flimsy back in January of this year. It's a Slashed Squares quilt, and very easy to make. This one is made from scraps and fabrics from my stash. You can get the tutorial here, at my Etsy shop.

When I made the quilt I thought it was handsome, but it didn't really thrill me. But now that it has been quilted, I really like it.

I think I am going to use the brown fabric for the binding.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

More Birds in the Garden


I made ten more red asterisks and a couple of other birds decided to join the red bird in the garden. There is a hummingbird flying around too. He might visit, he might not. In the meantime, here are more red asterisks.

This is one of my favorites of the current batch.


I like this one too.

Yes, these are Dr Seuss characters...

This red is another left over Christmas fabric.

This is actually two different red fabrics, although it's hard to tell.

This one might not make the final cut. Too blah.

I had to make a couple asymmetrical asterisks, because I just... needed them.

This is another favorite of this batch.

I really like this one too.

I now have 54 asterisks. I know I need at least 20-30 more. I've picked out some pastel fabrics for the next batch. 

Julie thought I had named the quilt with the title of yesterday's post, A Bird in the Garden, but I remember a note a former professor of mine left when she signed a book of hers to me:

"For Lynne, who stitches for us the gardens of our imagination..."

So I think "The Gardens of Our Imagination" might be it.

Friday, September 18, 2020

A Bird in the Garden


With that many flowers in the garden, it was inevitable a bird would notice. So I made a red bird.

Michele in Harrisburg liked the way my WOWs show up. It's no secret, I place them on my silver covered ironing table, and shine a light directly down. It really does make the WOWs really pop.

Here are all my asterisks together. I need to make a lot more.

By the way, if you want to make some birds, you can get my tutorial here, at my Etsy shop. It's an instant download, so you can get started right away.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Eight Reds

 Here, in no particular order, are the 8 red asterisks I just finished.

I'm posting them pretty big so you can see the details of the fabrics. The center square is a tricky choice. You have to have a fabric that fills up that little half inch space. This fabric LOOKED like it would work,  but it isn't as busy as I would have liked.

I had to have at least ONE cock-eyed asterisk. That center square is the palest of grays.





I had thought the little stars in the center square of this asterisk would be more prominent. Oh well.

Clearly this is leftover Christmas fabric.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

One Step at a Time


I know it doesn't look like much, but this takes a long time. All those pieces I showed you yesterday, what, something like 23 reds and a couple of pinks, sliced up into four bits each, arranged neatly ready for sewing. Some of them are set up to be two-toned, and some have their center pieces chosen. Not all, and I may yet change my mind, but still.

I did start sewing some of them, and because I wanted to finish some sooner rather than later, I just settled on eight sets to get going.


OH! You want to know my tongue-in-cheek working title for the asterisk tute? 

"Kiss My Asterisk"


Yeah, I know. That won't last. Somebody is bound to be offended. (Lynne rolls eyes!)


Tuesday, September 15, 2020



These are the same 35 asterisks I showed you yesterday, but these are arranged by color. I wanted to see how many of each I had.

Oddly enough, I didn't have any Red ones. Pink, yes, but no red.

So after I got out of work, and made dinner and read a bit, I went into the studio and cut some red squares and then sewed some WOWs on the ends of them. Here are 23 reds and a couple of pinks. Whereas in the weekend's batch I did not PLAN to make two-toned asterisks, some of the fabrics I have chosen here are destined to be part of a pair. I'll figure that out later when I cut them into strips.

Why so many? Well, I estimate I will need at least 100 asterisks for a quilt, and I want to have a good variety of colors, so I just started cutting. I'll have too many, probably, but I'm a big believer in having a good selection from which to choose. Once I have enough and work on a layout, I won't want to stop and make more. I'll get a layout I like, and then I'll shuffle the colors around. I dunno. That's the plan right now, we'll see how it goes. I'm not worried. (You've all hear THAT from me before.)

And I have another idea rumbling around in the back of my head. Can't wait to play with that, and it might turn everything upside down.

Here is the gold and silver asterisk flower that the Selvage Fairy was referring to yesterday. That gold and silver fabric was lame (pronounced "la-MAY"), which means it is made with thin ribbons of metallic fibers. It melts if you press it directly with an iron, and if your needle hits it wrong, it "runs" like you get a run in your nylons, a fact I discovered early on working with it. That's the  big reason there is only ONE of these asterisk flowers on that particular quilt (The Black Box). 

Linda thought the two toned asterisks were a terrific idea, and they are. They came about when I was making a bunch of asterisks for Julie's quilt, No Rules for Julie.  I was making a bunch of asterisks assembly-line fashion when I grabbed the wrong strip and made a mistake. Rather than un-sew it, I continued and made my first two-toned asterisk. It was an AHA moment! After that, I started making them that way on purpose. They are my favorites now.

This is an example of my theory that we all learn more from our mistakes than our successes, and that sometimes when something goes "awry" you have to decide if it is taking you to a place you didn't know existed before, and go!

Monday, September 14, 2020



 SOMETIMES It's nice to have easy brainless sewing to do.

I watched the Patriots win their game, then turned to the tennis. It continues to be weird watching big sporting events with nobody in the stands.

One nice thing about doing the same thing over and over is that you learn how to do things a bit better.

Here are all 35 asterisks. I decided, for the fun of it, to line them up. Partly because it would make it easier to figure out how many I have (the blocks are 6" and ten can fit in one row) and partly so I could enjoy breaking up the nice, boring, regular arrangement when that time comes!

What you may not see here (unless you click the photo, and then click again) is how many two toned asterisks I made. When I chose the fabrics for this batch I didn't plan on making any of them two-toned but as I got to sewing them together I could see lots of possibilities.

This is my current favorite two-toned asterisk. I think the center fabric is perfect!