Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Making progress

Earlier this month, I wrote about the whirligig quilt blocks I was making and how I was unsure how I would set them together. Well, I've made a decision! I decided that all the bright colors I used in the blocks need to be toned down a bit and I think black is the right choice.

Now before you look at the photos, you need to understand the kind of quilting I do. I prefer to do all my crafting by hand which means that my quilts are all sewn by sewing machine touches them! The thought of hand quilting a huge bed-sized quilt was a daunting idea so my early years of quilting involved making small wall hangings. They were fun to do, but I felt limited. Then I dreamed up an idea that had each block being backed and bound like a big quilt and then the blocks are whipped together. I thought I was being creative, but a search on the Internet turned up information about "pot holder" quilts. From what I can understand, the quilting ladies of old would make a block as a sample to see if they wanted to make a full quilt of that pattern. Sometimes they decided it wasn't what they wanted as a quilt so they bound the block and laid it aside. When they had enough, they whipped them together to make a quilt. Instead of using the block as a pot holder, it was grouped with others for a quilt. My "original" thought wasn't so original at all!

I have now made two pot holder quilts. The first one I kept for myself because that was the one I practiced on. The second one is the anniversary quilt I made for my brother and sister-in-law. That brings me up to what I'm working on now. The whirligig block was a free download from Connecting Threads. I have put my own touch on the pattern, of course, by leaving off the center yo-yo/circle. I'm working on the fifth block, but I thought you might want to see what they look like so far.

These are three of the completed blocks. The blocks are 10" square finished size. The black binding is 1" on each side which leaves 9" of background fabric. And yes, the colors are bright! I do think the black binding helps, though. If you look closely, you can see that I have quilted around each whirligig and then quilted just inside the border of each blade. That makes a pretty pattern on the back, I think.

The background colors include the pink, purple and blue that you see here as well as green, orange and yellow. In all, there are about eight different background colors. I am still not sure if I'm going to put the blocks side by side or if I will alternate the whirligig with a solid block. I'll have to get a few more whirligig blocks finished so I can make that call.

I do think this is going to be a really pretty quilt. So far, I have no plans for it. It may be another that I keep for myself. Or I might give it to my best gal-pal Vicky. Or I might donate it to charity. Lots of options out there!

Several people have asked me how I fill my time now that I am retired (for almost a year!). Well, folks, this is it! My mind whirls about 150 miles an hour thinking up new projects that I want to tackle. So far, I haven't experienced a boring day and I don't anticipate that happening in the near future. I'll be in good shape as long as the fabric and yarn holds out...and I stocked up on both of those while I was working. I doubt I'll live long enough to use all of my stash. And if I do use up everything, well guess I'll just have to go shopping for more. ha!

Til next time,


  1. Amy, the quilt squares are beautiful. I like the black - it really sets them off - Who knew what an artist you were!

  2. Enjoyed seeing these in person! Denise