Saturday, May 19, 2018

Saturday Stuff

Yes, I got up early this morning and watched the Royal Wedding, because I am an incurable romantic.

Glorious, the Diamond quilt collaboration between Julie and I is back from the quilter. Here are some pictures of it.

Here is a closeup of the quilting by Janet-Lee Santeusanio.

It came out really great. I am hoping to take a group photo of four of my Diamond Quilts before I have to send it back to Julie.

Lastly, I made this Chicken Salad for dinner last night and it was DIVINE! I highly recommend it. (I made it with a store bought rotisserie chicken.)

 It's raining, so I'll spend the day cleaning the house and doing the usual weekend chores.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling...

I have a favorite quote:

"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are different."

You know how somebody tells you how to do something and they say, "Just do... x." We all know that "just" doing "x" is a lot more complicated than that.

This was the first layout of the pink slashed squares blocks. Nothing is sewn together here, it's just up on the design wall.  The color isn't that great either, because the room is a bit dark in that corner, and I have to get some spots installed. Anyway, this was decidedly underwhelming, and there seems to be more busy-ness on the left side of the quilt than the right. It isn't balanced.

Fifteen minutes later I had this, and this was worse.

After 45 more minutes, I had this, and this was getting somewhere, but it wasn't quite there yet.

After another 20 minutes, I had this... and it was getting closer. But it was also getting later. Time for bed.

So just what am I trying to do? I am trying to distribute the "busy" patterns around the whole quilt, and not leave too much of the same print in the same area. I'm trying to spread everything around so it's balanced and has a nice flow.

The next morning, I got up, looked at it, made a couple of changes and I had this. I thought this was IT.

It was not.

That night I came home from work, made dinner, and then tinkered with it a bit more. After another hour or so, I had this, and thought for sure this was IT.

But I saw something that needed changing. This is about as perfect as I am going to get it with the blocks I have. So THIS really is IT and is what I am going to sew together.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Pick Is In!

The dark red violet was the winner with the batik pink. No surprise there.


I decided I liked this bubbly print with the stripe a lot better than the zig zag.

So I replaced it.

And I like this a lot better.

But when I put these two up on the design wall, I saw something else that needed my help.

This didn't pass the looks-good-from-a-distance test.

This looks a lot better.

 So now they all look good.

So I sliced them up.

Then I started to play around.

But then it got late and I had to go to bed.

You can get my Slashed Squares Tutorial here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Which to Switch?

I'm making blocks for the pink Slashed Squares quilt, and one pair of fabrics didn't turn out the way I expected.

This combination of fabrics is just blah. The inner square does not compliment the fun batik outer square. So what can I replace the center square with?

This striped fabric looks OK, but I am a bit worried it will be too dark and that it's too busy.


This is OK, but the value of the inner square is the same as the outer one. This actually looks better in the camera than it does in real life.

Too busy.

The value of the inner square is the same as the outer square.  Nope.

Lovely, but I need a "calm" center. This is too busy.

Love this combination, but again, here there are two busy fabrics.

I like this, the print (which doesn't photograph well here, is a "blender" and the color is good. Is it too dark?

Nope. If I put it next to the large flower of another fabric, the colors are the same, and as long as the different colors are repeated in other fabrics all around the quilt, the quilt will look cohesive.

So which one will I use?

I'm not sure yet, but it will be either the first option or the last one.  By the time you read this, I will probably have already solved the problem.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

First Steps With Pink

I sewed up the first step blocks for the pink Slashed Squares quilt. There are 9 busy blocks with calm insides and 9 calm blocks with calm outsides and busy insides. I only need 8 of each, but I love having extras because sometimes blocks don't play well together and it's nice to have options.

A careful perusal of the blocks above will reveal at least two that aren't as successful as I had hoped (hey, I made these all from my stash, and even MY stash has limits!)

This one isn't working. The low intensity dark pink center makes the striped outer fabric look duller.

This center square looks terrific, but it makes you wonder which of these two is the "busy" one. Fortunately, I know it's going to work no matter what.

Yes, I'll take this block apart and replace the center square.

There's another block that fails...

It looks sorta OK like this, but find it in the top photo and you'll see that it doesn't have as much contrast as it should.

We will look at some options to fix it tomorrow.

If you are interested in making your own Slashed Squares quilt, you can get my tutorial here.

Hey, Sewgirl, thank you for your always lovely comments. May I share the story of how we met?

Monday, May 14, 2018

Slashed Squares Flimsy Complete

I needed better how-to pictures for the Slashed Squares tutorial, so I started making these blocks. Now this is a flimsy that's 56" x 56". I'll use it as a class sample.

To Ellen, who left a comment the other day asking if Millie had done any QA work on this quilt, the answer is not yet. But she will. She always does.

The Slashed Squares quilt looks great when it's a planned light and dark version, like this one above, and it can also be done as a monochromatic quilt, so I decided to make a sample version of it as well.

Here are some of the fabrics I have selected. I had so many extra pinks from the Tickled Pink quilt I decided to use them. (btw I am sewing the binding on that quilt, so it should be "done" soon.)

Here's the second batch. I did make a couple of changes, but what else is new?

And yes, glutton for punishment I so obviously am, I'll be making a scrappy version of this too.

BTW, Rianne, you left a wonderful comment about the new tute on Friday's post.Thank you so much. Would you consider leaving a review of the new Slashed Squares tute on the Etsy page?          

Friday, May 11, 2018

Slashed Squares Tutorial is LIVE!

The new Slashed Squares Tutorial is LIVE, and you can find it here, in my Etsy shop. It is an instant download, so you can get started right away! Make sure you download the file after you complete your purchase. It will NOT be sent to you automagically.

I hope you all like having everything about this quilt in one place. Please let me know if you have any difficulties with it.


Thursday, May 10, 2018


The new Slashed Squares tutorial is 99.999% finished. I have to write up a description for Etsy and then I will publish it.

I'm very excited, and a little bit exhausted. It only took, I think 12 versions, before I got it to where I wanted it.

I want to give a shout out to my proofreaders and reviewers for helping get this thing into shape:
Julie Sefton, Allison Tom, Megan Fisher and Mary Lorimor.

One is an experienced quilter, one is a writer and quilter, one is a retired Anthropology professor and one a quilter and teacher. Each of them is a great friend. The ladies live in three countries - the US, Australia and Canada.

They pushed me around, challenged my ideas and my process, helped me with the flow and sequencing, corrected my grammar and punctuation, gently and sometimes not so gently, but the end result is something I think is really good.

It's an improvement over what I had before: the new tutorial includes directions for making the block in three sizes, shows several color photographs of my finished quilts, has specific cutting instructions, dimensions for the quilt in various sizes and includes the time saving hints and tricks I've learned over the years.

Coming soon.  Don't worry. I'll let you know when it's live!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Almost There, But Not Quite

My newest tutorial, Lynne's Slashed Squares is almost ready. It's going through the final edits, and then it will be available for sale in my Etsy shop as an instant download.

It has a fabric cutting layout, instructions for the block in three sizes and several time-saving tricks I've learned over the years as well as photos of my slashed squares quilts. The tutorial has everything you need to know to make one of these in one place, so you don't have to go hunting around.

As usual, it was harder to write than I expected, and it has gone through the hands of several quilters and teachers who've really pushed me to make it better, clearer and easy to understand.

I'm pretty excited about it. Coming soon. Real soon.

And then I can get back into the studio and do some real sewing!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Four by Four

Sixteen fabrics, 8 dark and 8 light, with 8 in each block, I wasn't sure the blocks would be varied enough to satisfy me, but I can live with these. These aren't sewn together yet, but with a limited number of options, I wanted to get them up on the wall so i could spot any duplicates and make sure each block had 8 different fabrics in each.

These look OK, so I will start sewing them together.

To the Selvage Fairy, who wondered if the leafy green fabric was a busy or a calm one, my answer is I am not sure. Some fabrics are shape-shifters. They can look busy when put next to some fabrics, and look calm when next to others.

Friday, May 4, 2018

All Matched Up!

Here are my light blocks matched up with the dark centers. I tried to pair a busy light print with a calmer dark print, and a calm light print with a busy dark one.

I did the same thing with the dark blocks, but I did not repeat any light/dark pair from the light blocks. I wanted them to be different.

Now I have to cut them apart. 

It's going to be interesting. There are 16 blocks in this quilt, and I have 16 fabrics. There are 8 prints in each block, and I don't like the same fabric in adjacent blocks to "touch" each other except diagonally.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Light/Dark Slashed Squares

As I am working on the new Slashed Squares tutorial, I realized I needed better photographs.  The only real way to do that was to make another quilt, so I decided to make a 4 x 4 block quilt. 

I needed 16 fabrics.

I chose 8 darks, 4 kinda busy and 4 kinda subdued,

and 8 lights, 4 busy and 4 "calm" prints.

I cut out all the pieces and matched them up. (See top photo).  I tried to pair up a busy dark with a calm light, and a busy light with a calm dark.  You'll have to wait until tomorrow to see the resulting square-inside-a-square blocks.

The new tutorial will include (as I have said before) a cutting layout, fabric requirements, size variations and lots of hints that I have learned over the years. I'm pretty excited about it, and I think the sample quilt will also be nice to have too! 

PS: Happy Anniversary to two of my most favorite couples in the whole wide world.  

Larry (the woodworker) on the left, and Julie on the right.
First, to my best pal Julie and her husband Larry who are celebrating 43 years of wedded bliss today.

Secondly, to my son Mr Karate and his wife Rubylocks, who are celebrating four years today.  Congratulations to you both!  I love you all.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Alison Did It!

Alison L, a blog reader of mine, made this flimsy she calls "Visions of Spring" based on my Diamond Quilts.  I think it is sensational, and if Alison can do it, then YOU can do it too!

I will be writing a formal tutorial on how to make the Diamond Quilt, and Alison has generously agreed to help me get it right.

If you want a sneak peek in how to make these Diamond Quilts, check out this post.