Author Archives: HP

Third Grackle

Third grackle in its two frames for Grackle Party.  Front:


And back:


You don’t need to see the backs of these anymore.  They’re all quite boring, but if you have any questions about the backs, ask and I’ll answer.

No, it’s not flat.  I’m hoping it relaxes when I have a chance to press it, then more when the papers are out.  I was about 1/8″ shy on both sides of one of the brown mitered corners, which was enough to make it cup up.  I’m finding that I’m not a fan of pointy triangles.

Fixing Mistakes

Months ago, I sewed the orange frame together with whatever thread I had handy.


Since I’m working on the project again (and adding what you see above), I decided to rip out that seam with dark thread and start again.  It’s a tiny bit of wasted work, but worth it especially now that I bought orange thread for my other project.

This square will also finish at 5″.  You’ll note the much larger grackle in the center.  That’s from the same fabric as the other, but with much larger grackles.  I’m glad I ordered the large size, too.  It adds a lot to the layout.

Grackle Party Center Square

I can’t believe I actually blogged about this project before I stopped posting for months.  Well, here’s the center square (not on point yet) of the project now known as Grackle Party all sewn together, EPP-style.


It’s about 5″ square and not quite flat in real life.  I’d rage-quit on it after sewing the reed at the bottom on wrong, but I fixed it at the sit-and-sew at my local quilt shop (new “local”), and here it is.  And here’s the back:


I actually took this out to work on as a break from another (much larger) EPP project I started a couple of months ago, which I definitely have not blogged about.  But I do have pictures, so someday.

I’m done making promises about posting more frequently/ever.  I just need to do it for myself as a record of what I’m doing.  And maybe other people will enjoy reading it.  We’ll cross that bridge when we’re near water.

It’s Been a While. Again.

So, life has a way of happening.  I now have four children.  Baby Four was born recently.  The pregnancy was rough (though normal).  Having an infant is actually easier in a lot of ways.

I just got my “sewjo” back and signed up for Monday Open Sew at the local quilting shop.  I figured that I wouldn’t stay for the whole thing, but I wanted to talk to adults other than my husband, and I really wanted to produce something again (other than a baby).  I hadn’t worked on anything in a year and really didn’t want to schlep my sewing machine and/or rulers and cutting mats along with the baby, so I just brought a box of fabric scraps and EPP supplies.

The fabric I’ve been putting off using for years is a 8″x8″ test swatch of tiny molting grackles by meduzy on Spoonflower.  I decided to just use some 2″ and 4″ square papers and just cut into the thing already.  The photo above is most of what I got done at the Open Sew.

I don’t know where I’m going with it.  It might end up being a little wall hanging or a pillow or part of something bigger.  I wish the designer on Spoonflower had more animals in the same style and color scheme, but she really doesn’t, aside from a mouse.  I’d rather leave it at just the grackle.

Framed Five Inch Block HP


When I got home and got Baby Four (we’ll call her “Qua”) to nap, I cut out some more papers and ended up with the scheme above, which is a five-inch block.  The center square is 1/2″ on a side.  I plan to have not many that small.  I was actually trying for bigger pieces, but I guess that’s hard for me.  Part of it was dictated by the fabric, though.

Grackles Layout Tentative HP

The layout above is very, very tentative.  I ordered more of the grackle fabric and I’ll see what I can do when it gets here.  I’m trying to only add bigger pieces than what I have here.  1/2″ is too small for a rectangle, though it’s not bad for hexes.  The top 2″ grackle rectangles are framed out to 4″.  I’m not sure how it’ll all fit together yet.  I’m calling it “Molting Grackles” for now.

Grackles Fabric Pull HP jpg

Feast your eyes on the fabric I pulled for this project.  It’s mostly scraps, with a few fat quarters for good measure.  We’ll see if I end up using it all and/or if I have to add to it.  Both seem likely.  It’s looking very red/cream/blue muted oldstyle.  I truly thought I was more modern than that.  Maybe not when I’m EPPing.

Modern Medallion Inspiration Links

Even though I went in a totally different direction with my “Modern Medallion” quilt from Rachel at Stitched in Color’s Handstitched Class, I wanted to share some of the very inspirational posts that I saw while I was still thinking about completing it as presented.

First, Happy Go Lizzie’s flimsy is gorgeous in its constrained, muted color palette, except for those pops of yellow in dark grey.  I also really liked her diagonal quilting in the random squares part of the quilt.

Another detail of diagonal quilting in a fall palette from Ginette.

A flimsy full of brights, fussy cutting, and leaves from Kellyfairy, displayed like stained glass.

Amanda from My Sewical Hour discusses her slow stitching, decision making, and inability to complete someone else’s pattern.  This one really spoke to me, because it turns out I have the same problem.  (It doesn’t help that this is/was one of my first real quilt projects–I think I just wanted such a big project and finish to be MINE.)

A happy, bold, FINISHED Modern Medallion by Emily.  It can be done!  Someone finished it and the hand quilting is wonderful.

Another muted, constrained palette for the flimsy which stuck with me.  This one’s by HNoelMauri.

And, since months have passed, Kelly Kruzner’s flimsy in seaglass blues.  I LOVE it.

I didn’t go in any of these directions, but they all added something to my process.  I love that people share their work, especially when it’s so beautiful.

It’s Been a While.

Title says it all.  Life got busy, as it does.

I was still working on things, though I rage-quit Midnight Garden for a while.  I have a backlog of half-finished posts, so I’ll get through those, then to the new stuff, of which there is…some.

Stay tuned.

Midnight Garden Rectangular Medallion

Is a rectangular medallion still a medallion?  I dunno, but that’s what I’m calling it.

MG Rectangular Medallion HPYes, I’m still piecing it all by hand over paper.  Why?  I really don’t know (ie, same reasons as before).  The four small flowers are EPPed, then hand-appliqued to the white background fabric.  The fabric looks dull because it’s sitting on a dark surface, which shows through the white.

Believe it or not, but this layout took much agonizing.  Yes, really.  But I’m almost entirely happy with it.  I think I should have done light flowers on a black background.  I still might, I dunno.  If I do, I’ll save these for a later round.

I’m also not thrilled with the curved edges of the flowers–they’re not smooth.  I think I need one of those teeny craft irons, but I don’t think I’m going to make this a habit, since I found the applique fiddly and annoying.  My stitches are nowhere near invisible, either.  I prefer to EPP a whole block.  Or, someday, machine applique the motif down.

I have decided on my next round, at least.  I’m going to do full Storm at Sea blocks in the corners and midway down each long edge (for a total of six–I ordered the papers well before Rachel said that one package does six small blocks, so I have WAY too many Storm at Sea papers) and the same sort of 2″ checkerboard that Rachel has as her next Modern Medallion round, but mine will be one block wider, and I’m going to do a pattern in the checkerboard instead of making it random.  I’m thinking more Drunkard’s Path blocks to actually make a path.  I have a sketch of it, which I’ll post at some point along with more progress photos.

This post was just a quickie for the Handstitched class people, but I might link up with Sunday Slow Stitching at Kathy’s Quilts, since that’s clearly what I’m doing with this project.

Five Flowers for Eleni

Flowers for Eleni HPI decided to also do yellow and white flowers.  They’re wrinkly because the papers are still in.

Flowers for Eleni Back HP

I’m really happy with how they came out (I think I did a pretty good job of choosing hues in each color that worked well with one another), and I hope they fit well into the quilt(s) that Jodi from Tales of Cloth and her helpers make for Rachel and her family.  Here’s the latest from Rachel.  I wish the auction hadn’t been Instagram-only.

Even though I’ve been doing EPP for months now, this is the first project where I actually removed the basting and papers.

Flowers for Eleni Removing Papers HPIt was a little scary at first, and I didn’t realize just how much thread went into the basting stitches until I was cutting them at every corner, but just feeling the fabric drape like fabric again was wonderful.

Flower for Eleni Papers Out HPYou can see that I used a thin light grey thread on the colored parts (Aurifil 50 wt, which I am in LOVE with), and a thicker dark grey thread on the parts connecting with the black.  You can see both sets of stitches a little on the front, but it’s HANDwork, so I like to see it.

I was worried that the seam allowances weren’t behaving, but I put all five flat into a padded mailer, smooshed between pieces of paper, and I think they’ll get to Jodi in Australia better than they left here.

Some people were appliqueing their flowers onto background fabric, per Jodi’s assembly plan, but I just don’t have a deep enough stash to have made that viable.  Also, since I had two light flowers, I wanted her to have some leeway on how she backed them (inverse for those?  Light flowers and dark background?  Or not).

I also didn’t trust myself to do the machine applique and I had no time at all for hand applique.  I hope she can use them and that they play well with other people’s flowers.  This was my first attempt at contributing blocks to a quilt.

I can’t wait to see what she and her helpers do with them and I hope that Rachel’s family can take comfort from them.

Flowers for Eleni

Rachel from Stitched in Color, who teaches the Handstitched class that I’m taking, delivered her baby over the weekend.  Things did not go as expected.  I wanted to offer my support, but I couldn’t comment on her blog post with just my name and I didn’t want to email her my sympathies.

A classmate let us know about Jodi from Tales of Cloth’s Flowers for Eleni 1″ hexagon flowers project.  It’s a very small way that I can come together with our community and let her know that she and her daughter and husband and other children are in our thoughts.

Flowers for Eleni 1 HPI dropped what was on my hand-sewing agenda (aka Midnight Garden) and basted up some 1″ hexagons.  (I made that sound easy, but I agonized, as usual, over the fabrics in each bunch–do they go together, are they balanced, etc.  I want to send her my best and not mess up what everyone else is doing.  I checked the Instagram hashtag and I think what I’m doing will fit in.)

Depending on how fast I can sew these together, I’ll get them mailed on Saturday to Australia(!).  If not, I’ll make a couple more and mail them next weekend.  A yellow would be nice.  Maybe a white-on-white.  For the centers, I used my silver-speckled black fabric, which I love and which I think makes very nice flower centers.

I hope doctors can soon find a diagnosis for Eleni, and I hope it’s one with a good prognosis.