Still Life on Caffeine

Thanks to Jean Larson for introducing me to this technique detailed by Brenda Esslinger in her books, Fracture Frenzy and Fabulous Fractures.  And thanks to my sister, Laura Knowles, for finding these lovely panels for me to experiment with.

Now for a summary of the technique as I interpreted it.

My first attempt was with smaller flower pictures. I think I may have mentioned them before, but here is a reminder:

2016-03-22 fractured flowers

Each of these started out as four identical pictures, then got cut up and sewn back together a couple times and ended up looking as if you were seeing them through a faceted crystal. They all started out as 6″ blocks and finished between 9″ and 10″. I think the difference has something to do with my inaccurate 1/8″ seams.  I am still thinking about what to make out of them – maybe place mats.

To make a fractured quilt  you need to start with four identical fabric panels. The ones I used this time  were about 23″ wide by the width of fabric high.

Carefully cut them into strips vertically

2016-02-21 fracture 02

Alternate strips from each panel

2016-02-22 02

Carefully sew them together. See how the flowers almost double in width?

2016-02-22 03

Repeat that process with the third and fourth panels.

2016-02-22 04

Now you have two larger panels. This is where the fun starts.


Cut the panels into strips again – this time horizontally.


Alternate the strips as before – This step would not fit on my design wall so I separated it. The top is on the left and the bottom is on the right.


Sew all these strips together and you are almost done.


I didn’t sew the last few rows on because that would have made the finished quilt way too tall.  Add borders and quilt it up. I tried several different colors for the inner border and decided the blue was best. Then I was fortunate to find some matching fabric at my local quilt shop,  The Quilt Place in Rockledge FL, to use around the outside. I quilted it simply with vertical serpentine stitch down the middle of each strip and then sewed some pieces of extra border fabric together to make the binding.  The finished quilt is about 50″ by 70″ – larger than I had expected – but luckily I have just the right sized wall to hang it on in our living room. The sunflowers, poppies and lilies in the side borders are the original size of the ones in the center.

2016-03-17 fracture finished

I took a few days in the middle of working on the fracture quilt to put together a Quilt of Valor for March. This is from a kit my friend Karen Downer sent me — a disappearing nine patch. It was pretty quick to assemble.

2016-03-09 qov

That’s all for now.  Happy Day!



February Update

Here is the Quilt of Valor I made for February. It is the same pattern that I used last July except this time I tried to use fewer fabrics. I liked the scrappy look of the first one, but this one is very nice too. The pattern is called ‘Falling Stars’ and is in the Spring 2015 issue of Easy Quilts.

2016-02-20 qov for feb

And that is about all I finished that month.  The rest of the time was spent on a really fun quilt  that starts with four panels (approximately 23″ by 42″) just like this.  I will show all the steps involved in this quilt, which I have decided to call “Still Life on Caffeine”, in the March post. More about that later.

2016-02-21 fracture 01

January 2016

This quilt top still needs to be quilted, but I wanted to show it anyway. I really love it. I got most of the little nine-patch blocks from a swap with a couple gals many years ago and they have been sitting in a box since then. I decided that it was finally time to play with them and planned this layout. I also got to use up some hexie flowers that I made when my hexie craze was at full tilt. I think they make a perfect accent.

When finished, this quilt will go in our guest room. I am planning on having two single beds in there. So far, I have just the one bed frame (I put an air mattress on the frame for the picture), but eventually there will be another bed. Best of all, I have enough little nine-patches left to make a quilt for the second bed. I have a different arrangement in mind for it, but it will also include hexie flowers.

Here is a journal cover that I made for a friend who loves Wonder Woman. The gold page marker is suppose to represent Wonder Woman’s golden lasso.

The next picture is of my first Quilt of Valor for the year. I made from a mystery quilt, although I waited and got all the clues and new what it would look like before starting on it.  Making the stars was a little tricky — everything else was easy.

2016-01-20 qov

Wrapping Up 2015


First up are a couple of things my sister made. I showed her how to make the folded fabric stars an zippy bags. She made two stars and sewed them together to make a tea cozy. Very cute!  Then she made several zippy bags for co-workers. I only got a picture of one, but the others are similar — with cute sayings and different fabrics.



Here is a picture of our house all lit up for our first Xmas in Cocoa, FL.

2015-12-03 house lights


This is the panel I quilted up to hang on the front door. The wreath has some little lights that look really nice at night, but of course don’t show up well for the camera.

2015-12-09 banner for front door

Wow! That was easy. I guess I didn’t get much done during the last part of the year.

See you next post.

Another November Post

I can’t say that I have gotten a lot of quilting done since the last post, but there are a couple of things that I couldn’t show till now that I what to share.

This Xmas tree is a panel by Stonehenge. I quilted it for my sister and made buttonholes for little electric lights to go through. It looks really nice in person, but the lights don’t show up well on camera.

Xmas Tree

Xmas Tree

This is the first time I tried quilting a big spiral and I think it looks really nicely. I got the idea from this blog post:

I like this spiral technique so much that I know I will use it a lot in the future.  In fact, I used it on another quilt right away. This is my entry for the Sunstitchers’ 2015 challenge which was to make any kind of quilt with five-inch squares.  I ran across the pattern, called Twinkle Star,  for this carpenter’s star that was made from a charm pack in a magazine and decided it would be just right, particularly since I had a charm pack handy. This is my finished quilt:

Challenge Quilt

Challenge Quilt

It is about 39 inches square and looks a lot more complicated than it actually was to piece and quilt which is my favorite kind of quilt to make.  I had a few squares leftover and used them in the saw-tooth border. I really like the way the circular quilting contrasts with all the sharp points.

Yesterday was the Sunstitchers meeting when the entries were to be revealed, and there were quite a few beautiful and clever quilts to see. I was pleasantly surprised that mine won a prize and will enjoy spending my Joann’s gift certificate.

Here is another idea I had to use five in squares – a biscuit quilt. Sometimes these are called puff quilts too. It is an old technique but I had never tried it, so I got out another pack of 5 inch squares and gave it a try. I am sure you could search up either name and get instructions.

 puff quilts

Biscuit quiltlets

These are as finished as they will get — they fit perfectly in the baskets I have sitting around for the cats to nap in.  I don’t know if I would ever make a larger quilt with this technique, but it would definitely be a cozy one.

Well that is all for now. I hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.

Happy Day


Catching Up

This is going to be a pretty long post since it has been a while (almost half a year) since my last one. It doesn’t seem to me that I’ve gotten much done quilt-wise, but it may look like it once everything is bundled together in one place.

Frist of all, I have been making a Quilt of Valor every month and sending them up to my dear friends, the Georgia Belles, to be quilted and gifted to an appreciated veteran.  There is a double benefit for me from making Quilts for veterans. The best thing of course, is having the opportunity to show my appreciation for those who served in the armed forces and helped to keep America safe.  Secondly, it is a practical way to experiment with different quilt patterns and techniques.  I enjoy trying new things and am learning so much with each one I make.

2015-07-14 falling stars qov

Falling Stars

This is the QOV for July. The pattern is called ‘Falling Stars’ and is in the Spring issue of Easy Quilts.

2015-08-21 qov stars

Summertime Stars

I made this one for August from a pattern called ‘Summertime Stars” in Quaint Quilts to Love by Joanna Figueroa & Lisa Quan.

2015-09-11 qov

This is the one I made for September. At the moment, I can’t remember what magazine I saw this one in, but I remember it was an old one — from the 90s.

2015-10-22 qov

And this is for October. I made it up using my favorite block, Mary’s Triangles from Sally Schnider’s book, Triangle Tricks. I’ve made several quilts with this block and it is so versatile.

A couple of months ago, the Community Service group of my local guild, Seaside Piecemakers, asked for patriotic lap quilts for a local hospice organization. Since I had a few patriotic panels on hand, I decided to make them up into lap quilts. Here they are.

2015-10-01 qov lap quilts

I turned these three in and was gifted with four more little panels to make into even more lap quilts.  Here they are (before the quilting and binding. Apparently, I didn’t take a picture of them finished):

2015-10-08 qovs

These were fun to make and fast – corner blocks and side borders around the panel and the quilt is all done. These were small enough that I could quilt them myself on my little Vikiing. Notice the Mary’s Triangles in the corners. I sure like adding them to quilts.

2015-07-26 fabric folded stars

Folded Fabric Stars

These are my folded fabric stars. I learned this technique from Diana Whitson at a Sunstitchers meeting in June. I liked it so much that when we went back to Chattanooga to get the last of our stored stuff, I showed Karen D. and Sharon G. how to make them and they shared the technique with the Chattanooga Quilt Guild. I thought I would make one or two, but I keep getting ideas for different color combinations and decide to do ‘just one more.’ Thus this fifth one:


One more star

(and I am considering a few more color ways, so I don’t think I am done yet.)

Over the last few months, I also managed to get some knitting done. I finally finished the teal pair and two more pairs after that.  I have been knitting in the evenings while watching TV.

205-08-29 socks

Teal Sox

2015-10-08 red sox

Red & Purple Sox

2015-10-24 sox

Blue Sox

This makes 24 pairs of socks that I have knitted. I think I am ready for winter now — LOL!

Twin baby quilts

Twin baby quilts

I made these baby quit tops for my sister. She has a co-worker who recently had twin granddaughters, and I happened to have a couple ABC panels on hand that seemed girly, so I pieced the tops for her. She will take care of the quilting and finishing.


Well, I believe that has us all caught up. I left out any pictures of the studio although it has changed a lot since the last update on that. I am hoping to get the room all neatened up for fresh pictures, but I am having so much fun sewing in here that there seems to always be a mess of one sort or another.

Happy Day!




Checking In

Well, we have been in Florida now for about six months and in our house for about five, and I am beginning to feel like this is home. I suspect finally getting a washer and dryer helped with that feeling.  It is so nice to do my own laundry again and not have to take it out to the laundromat.

2015-06-03 washer & dryer

here are the new lovelies, happily nestled in their own little niche. And look at what we (‘we’ in this case means Raymond) had to do to vent the dryer! I don’t know how the previous owners did laundry as there was no vent for a dryer anywhere in the garage.  This setup is a little funky looking, but as long as it works I love it.

2015-06-03 washer & dryer2

I happened across a Quilting Arts episode (1210) on Create TV this week and saw two projects that seemed interesting — quick fabric flowers and a scrappy trip around the world block. That same day, I tried making the flower before I forgot how and here is my attempt.  I like it. I can see this being a cute addition to a purse or pillow or even a baby quilt. The one in the clip used ombre fabric and the first one I found was this brown to tan. It still looks like a flower.  It was as easy to make as it looked in the video.

2015-06-12 sample quilting arts flower

And here is the scrappy trip block. The original pattern is on Bonnie Hunter’s website,  I had seen it there but thought making all those little squares looked like a lot of work. Well after seeing the video on Quilting Arts, I found out it is a fun and quick little block to make. I am so tempted to cut up all my fat quarters into strips and start making more of these blocks.

2015-06-13 scrappy trip

Because the blocks are so busy, I think if I used the same color in the center (I decided to go with white) the blocks would have a little bit of order.

Sock it to me

Next, I am pleased to show a finished sock. I have been knitting on this one for over a year!  The yarn is wool, silk and a little nylon. It feels very soft. I started the second one right away but who knows how long it will take to finish!  Don’t you love the color!

2015-06-12 table sock #20

Studio Update

This week, we got a piece of pegboard and some 1″ x 2″s for the legs and frame and Raymond put them together to hold my rulers and rotary cutters. This one is bigger than the last one and I love it.  Here are some shots of the studio showing the new pegboard.

2015-06-12 studio 2

I moved the furniture around again as you can see. 

2015-06-12 studio 3The pegboard as well as the design wall just lean there against the wall. I love that I can move them around without leaving marks on the walls.  The only exception with that will be my next design wall which will be made of insulation sheets covered in flannel. They will be secured to the wall. Maybe next month I will get around to that.
2015-06-12 studio 1

And here is the pegboard with all my rulers arranged on it right by the cutting table.  I love it!  Now I better get in there and sew something.
2015-06-13 pegboard