Double Slice Layer Cake


This was tonight’s finish…Double Slice Layer Cake.  At present, this is a flimsy measuring 52″ x 60″.  This is a pattern / video / tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company.

fresh-air-by-american-jane-modaAll you need to make the quilt top is a 10″ layer cake.  I made my quilt from a Moda Layer cake from Fresh Air by American Jane that I bought at our guild’s garage / trunk sale.  I love the 30′s retro feel to this fabric line.

This is the perfect quilt pattern for someone who is new to quilting as there are no seams to match up until you are sewing your blocks together into rows.  Even if your seam allowance is not a precise 1/4″, you have the opportunity to square your blocks to all the same size after piecing and before sewing your blocks together into rows.

This was the same pattern that my DIL used to make her first quilt.


M with her first quilt – a Double Slice Layer Cake – photo taken January 3, 2016.



Floating Squares

Today was a rainy day–the kind made for quilting.  I spent time this morning surfing the Internet looking for quilt inspiration.  I knew I didn’t want to make a huge project and I knew that I wanted to work with solids.  I came across a video from Missouri Star Quilt Co. showing how to make a quilt called, Floating Squares.  I didn’t have a charm pack of solid squares, but I did come across a nice stack of 6 solids all in the same location in the cupboard.  I am sure they were purchased all at the same time to go with some other print fabrics, but the print fabrics seem to have made their way to some other area of the studio.  They looked great together so a 5″ strip of each solid was donated to the cause for today.

Half Yard Cuts of Solids_June 18, 2016


In this photo, it looks like one of the fabrics is black but it is really navy blue.  The lighting on a rainy cloudy day isn’t the best.

By supper time, the blocks were finished and up on the design wall.  Truth be told, there is more cutting than sewing in this project which makes for a quick and easy project–perfect for today.

2916-June 18_Floating Squares_Blocks on the Design Wall_OptimizedJenny Doan of Missouri Star says that this quilt should finish about 47″ x 56″.

Now on to sewing the blocks together.


Maritime Modern Quilt Guild Mini Quilt Swap

2016_March 25_Maritime Modern Quilt Guild Exchange_mini

In May, our guild is swapping mini quilts with the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild in Halifax, Nova Scotia on the east coast of Canada.

Our minis were to finish 12″ square.  This is a photo of the front of my mini.  I used scraps of Kona solids.  My squares finish at 1.5″.

This is an image of the label that appears on the back of the quilt which explains my design:

CaptureThis is a photo of the back of my mini:

2016_March 25_Maritime Modern Quilt Guild Exchange_back_editedI thought it was fitting to use dotty fabric as the characters that form the Braille alphabet are raised dots.

The two triangles in the upper corners of the quilt are to be used in place of a hanging sleeve to hang the quilt.  This was the requested method of hanging the finished quilts.



Good Vibrations – Flimsy

2016_March 21_Good Vibrations by Kari Vojtechovsky_Quilts and More Fall 2014_54 x 66This is the third project that I have been working on during my vacation.  

This quilt is from from a pattern that appeared in the Fall 2014 Quilts and More magazine by Kari Vojtechovsky called Good Vibrations.

I have been holding onto a collection of turquoise, orange, and yellow batiks waiting for just the right pattern.  These fabrics remind me of the landscape in Arizona.  The Kona white background makes the colours in the batiks sparkle.  The colours in my photo are a bit off. The light in my studio in the corner of the room where the design wall resides is not the best at night.

Size: 53.5″ x 66″. 

Paint Chips – Flimsy

2016_March 18_Paint Chips by Karla Alexander_Flimsy_47 x 65This is the second project that I have worked on during my vacation.  This is Paint Chips from a pattern by Karla Alexander from her book, Stack, Shuffle, and Slide.


Last year while our guild was in Seattle for the Fourth Annual Pacific Northwest Modern Quilt Guild Meet Up in August, we toured Martingale’s publishing facilities.  After the tour there was an opportunity to purchase some of the books published by Martingale.  One of the books that I bought was Stack, Shuffle, and Slide by Karla Alexander.

This quilt definitely fits the definition of improv piecing with intention.  According to the Modern Quilt Guild, “Improv does not have to be random when it comes to quilting. It is one thing to start with a bag of scraps when improvising in the sewing room, but what do you do when you’ve got an idea and want to improvise the process.  It can be as simple as transferring an image or as abstract as translating an idea.”

Using Karla’s technique of stacking squares of fabric and then slicing the squares a specific number of times and then shuffling the pieces, you end up with a simple way to sew improv blocks.  Karla’s pattern says to start with 10 fat quarters (18″ x 22″) and cut them into 20 rectangles measuring 11″ x 12.5″.  I prewashed my fat quarters which resulted in some fabric shrinkage.  When I went to cut my squares, I did not have a perfectly square fat quarter.  I ended up cutting my squares less than the 11″ x 12.5″ recommended size in the pattern.  This resulted in finished squares that measured 7.5″ x 9″ rather than the 8″ x 10″ rectangles that Karla showed in her pattern.  I felt I had less flexibility in where I made my slices on the squares because I had started with smaller rectangles to begin with.  If I were to make this quilt again, I would start working with cuts of fabric larger than a fat quarter to ensure that after prewashing my fabric I would have a large enough rectangle to start the process with.
I also eliminated the inner contrasting border.  I like the look of the squares floating on the background rather than seeing them contained by that inner border.

The fun part of this pattern is making the blocks and then playing with the blocks and other bits on the design wall.  Once you have made your decision on where everything is going to go, the assembly of the top is a bit tedious.

The following review of Karla’s book was completed by the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild and gives some more insight into this book.

Reviewed by the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild (Stacey Day) 
Customer rating 5.0/5.0 

I had the opportunity to review another book for the VMQG. This time around I pulled Stack Shuffle and Slide by Karla Alexander.

I am not much of an improv quilter, not by a long shot. There is something about randomly sewing things with no plan that scares me. The one time I tried I ended up with a set of fairly symmetrical blocks that looked planned. Its this reason that when I started into Stack, Shuffle, and Slide, I could not put it down. I sped through the whole thing, and re-read a couple chapters, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Now, I have to be honest, I had not heard of the stack the deck technique used for the projects in the book, so I was not quite sure what to expect. What I got was a versatile technique combining structured techniques and modern improv cutting. The result is a quilt style suitable for any quilter and experience level.

Stack Shuffle and Slide patterns can be as structured or as improv as you want. The quilts themselves are very easy to customize. In fact, Karla includes tips for fabric selection and cutting ideas at the start of each. She also gives you her inspirations and why she chose to make each quilt.

Karla writes in a friendly manner that makes the instructions easy to understand. The patterns are well written and straightforward, with plenty of diagrams and illustrations to highlight key points in the techniques.

Her quilts are the perfect combinations of styles, so I am sure anyone could find at least 3 quilts in the book that they like (Go ahead, get the book and prove me wrong!) There are 15 quilts to choose from in a wide variety of sizes, and almost all of them can be increased in size by cutting some extra blocks.

The projects for the most part are simple, there are a few that are more complex, but the instructions and diagrams are well written, so as long as you are not rushing through you will be fine no matter what your skill level. The simple patterns are perfect for quick gifts or a day retreat.

Most of the quilts use smaller cuts of fabric so its really easy to pull from your stash. Prints, solids, it does not matter, as long as you keep to the suggested values you will keep the essence of the quilt design.

My favorite quilt is a toss up between Dot Dash Click and Simple Simon. Both have an eye pleasing aesthetic to them and I cant wait to start pulling fabrics to see where it takes me.

Overall I would recommend Stack, Shuffle and Slide to pretty well everyone, but especially those quilters who enjoy the improv process or have always wanted to try but get stuck, like me! I think the stack the deck technique is simple enough for anyone to learn and use, and the number of patterns included means there is something for everyone. The book is easy to read and understand, the patterns are clear and well written, and her designs suggestions make it easy to tailor the quilt to suit your own personal tastes. An A+ in all categories! 

Finished size: 47″ x 64.5″.