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What’s on My design Wall

August 9, 2021

Last year I had the opportunity to take a class from Patrica Balyea from Okan Arts featuring Complex Curves. Unfortunately Covid happened, the class canceled and another class in a lovely retreat center in Wisconsin the same year also canceled—-so I was particularly excited to see an on-line class in July and August of 2021. It was an intense class—and although she normally teaches this as a 5 day workshop, I think–at least for me–it was better spread out as it was over 6 weeks.

Here are some images from Assignment Four–this built on Assignment Three which was to construct a simple center—and then this past week wer were to add extensions (borders). Of course, I had to try something difficult—-as the center—-and then add these rather larger borders—

Amazing what you can find when you start tidying up

Rummaging around in a box full of stamps, I discovered a small bag filled with some tiny SunBonnet Sue stamps. They are about half an inch in height—and were the property of a friend who died some years ago but was the founder of the local quilt guild. I used the stamp in my Jump into June little book and colored in with some markers.

More progress

Perhaps this isn’t the easiest way to figure out how I work–as it will be backwards—with the most recent things on top. But scrolling downward will give a glimpse of my working progress. Here is another series of three—the jump into June 21 pages followed by the upper road added to my Block of the Month Quilt Show 2021 and finally the birds cut out and placed on the background. My husband informed me the three birds were engaged in a courtship display.

jumped into June with great intentions
now there are two roads; sewing all those circles was not easy

Although the pattern called for inserting the entire Mariner’s Compass as a circle, I sewed it in halves; sewing the arcs into quarter circles, then halves and then the whole. The outer road was sewn as a ring. The next round is fairly large so should not be too difficult.

And finally I have placed the birds on the background ready to stitch down. I plan to add a few details with hand embroidery..

Moving along with some progress

Trying to feel motivated, I signed up for the Jump into June 2021 challenge offered by SAQA. I set up a nice little book with eco printed pages, a fabric collaged cover. But then was more than a bit disappointed to discover there were over 500 participants and I was admonished not to post more than once a day—that really took the wind out my sails and dampened my enthusiasm. But here is one of the pages I worked on. I discovered a felt tip pen worked best for working in this little book.

I did more work on the Block of the Month from the Quilt Show.

And then after a great deal of thought I decided to make a piece for the annual SAQA 12 by 12 auction. Last year, my piece sold on the first day—a great surprise and ego boost—-I usually present a piece that is an experiment in technique or style.

This is the last few bits of a vintage pieced top I bought several years ago; I made a jacket with a matching purse; and now with a bag full of leftover bits, sewed them together and stitched heavily over those combined bits. I decided to try fusing an interfacing to the birds—to see if that would eliminate the fraying threads on the edges—and it did seem to work—maybe a new style of working that is faster than hand-turned applique.

Updating as I have been busy just not posting

Life has thrown a few curves or more accurately pot-holes, ditches, and boulders in my way. I have not been as creative fiber-wise as in the past, but I am starting to work again. Here are my two latest projects. The ’round’ one is a block of the month pattern from The QuitShow but the other is a donation piece for the annual SAQA auction

These two pieces were October’s projects. I’d like to say they are now finished but they are still hanging on the design wall awaiting me.


I have been working on this piece for the past month–you can see the stages in my blog posts. I have now decided to call it finished!. It needs to be backed, labeled, and sleeves applied but the artwork part is done and I am ready to move on to a new art project.

I ahvsmall20pieces20on20left-mWorking on that rock wall has been heavy lifting. Time for a break and working on something smaller. The three small pieces to the left are collages made from trimmings of other pieces, the two portraits in the middle are working with positive/negative space and the block on the right is a leftover from a huge quilt I just finished.


I don’t normally take photos of my workspace–but here it is. While working on a piece, I do create quite a mess. The poster is on the design wall and pieces of the new project are both behind and in front of the ironing board on the floor. I use freezer paper as my templates.

Yes, those are Tide boxes on the shelves near the wall of windows. I prefer to store my fabric in Tide boxes—the fabric always smells nice and in this part of the world where insects are a problem, I have never found evidence of insects in these boxes.  The only problem is that with the slick exterior, I have trouble finding something that will stick to the exterior as a label.


This is the photograph forming the inspiration for my next large piece. I’m not sure if they are rocks or building blocks. They were neatly stacked against the side of a barn in Ohio. I had the photo printed as a poster at Office Depot. This became my full size pattern.


The local quilt guild announced a challenge to choose something from the book ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne for our September meeting. This involved reading the book–quite lengthy and lots of imagery. The Nautilus was based on Robert Fulton’s vision of a submarine powered by a set of sails. Verne’s submarine did not have sails nor did it have the power to refresh it’s air, needing to surface from time to time. I chose the time when Nemo decided to explore the Antarctic and got stuck  underneath the ice–ice with ribbons of color through it. I haven’t finished the piece yet–still has an image of the Nautilus to be improved upon at the bottom and of course, some quilting–or maybe a lot.


While routing around in my boxes of fabric–my palette–I found a piece started several years ago in a Nancy Crow workshop. I think it was about motifs and re-interpreting them. I don’t think they were supposed to be sewn together–but I think it might make a good base for an upcoming exhibit called ‘forced to flee’.  Hurricane Harvey/Tropical Storm Harvey inundated us with rain–so much water we became quite literally an island unable to go west,east, or north and to the south was the ocean. Many people were rescued from their homes via the Cajun Navy and National Guard Reserves including my youngest son and his family. I am planning to put some lettering and imagery on it–but not blatantly. I want the piece to reflect–the decision–stay or go…go or stay—rebuild or leave–to the many different options available after some time has elapsed.  More on this piece and the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea later.

Remnants no 3

This little piece was made from many fabrics from my mother’s scrap bag. I hand-pieced it and ended up modifying the pattern somewhat as I worked. It is supposed to have a center square surrounded by four oblong pieces; each resulting piece is then connected to the next one by another square, slightly smaller than the center one. I’ve made this pattern–Kansas Dugout=–in several sizes and still enjoy making it. A series is definitely intriguing.

Several working Psalm illustrations on the left; a birthday piece on the right with three fish, 10 tics and 1951 written in the lower right side–my birthday.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Oh My Goodness all the Quilty and Art goodness in this post!!! I am intrigued by your rocks – and that Nautilus!! That is awesome!! I like the idea of the Tide boxes – Never thought about how it could help your fabrics stay fresh!!!

    June 9, 2021

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