(Ok, I'm not really a witch, but I probably would have been burned at the stake in 17th century Salem.
I am a big fan of midwifery, pirates, and eating a peck of dirt before you die.)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I love having "Eureka!" moments. I was struggling this week with the layout and construction of a quilt top. I rarely use patterns anymore; I am too busy being inspired by the amazing leading ladies of the modern quilt movement, like Ashley over at Film in the Fridge. I've been wanting to make a quilt inspired by her Animal Sherbet Squares. I just love the haphazard blocks.

So I started a long overdue quilt for my mother-in-law. I've had this lovely, bright, Japanese art-inspired fabric for a couple of years, with her in mind. I'd just been waiting for the right pattern idea to come along. The first mini-eureka moment: a haphazard block quilt a la Ashley's for my most wonderful mom-in-law, Barbara. Thanks, Ashley, for the inspiration!

As I mentioned, I had bought the fabric a couple of years ago, when I was in a Stack-n-Whack craze.
We call this one Orange Madness. It goes perfectly with our ridiculous couch, which we also call Orange Madness. (Ella obviously prefers the flannel quilt on snowy days like this, which is fine as it gave me the opportunity to snap a quick photo of Orange Madness : ) )

This mermaid fabric was a blast to stack-n-whack and I had so much fun quilting this baby with waves and swirls and eddies. I have to remember that I still have a bit of this fabric left...hmmm...another mini-eureka!

Now, this is the beginning of the current quilt. Whole piece of fabric on right, stack-n-whack octagons on left, and scrappy block in center.

The kaleidescope stack-n-whack blocks are fairly big, so I only have five of those, and then I filled in with simpler, smaller scrappy blocks, made from some stash fabric, and some new lovelies that just happened to jump into my cart while I was at Joann's picking up thread.... crazy how that happens, right?

I holed myself up in the studio during the past week of blizzards and snow days, and when I wasn't having most excellent walks through the thigh-deep snow (hip-deep to Griff!),
I just churned out these blocks.
Do you ever find it is hard to stop? They are just so much fun to make...no two are alike!

Now comes the Big Eureka moment. I was having a hard time finding a system to assemble the blocks and background fabric. There's always a system, right? Well, I laid out the blocks on the floor, and just started piecing the tan in between, but it was really tedious and not as fun as I suspected it really could be. Then, the Ah HA! came when I noticed that the rug squares matched up with the size I wanted the quilt (jeez, as I write this I realize what a moron I can be sometimes...it's sounding so obvious now with hindsight...) and I thought "Grid!" So I taped out the grid of the rug squares, which are perfect 18" squares, and now I can piece a square at a time. I can be much more accurate, and it actually helped me adjust the layout more evenly, as each square has about the same number of scrappy squares in it.

You may be saying, "duh, Sooz", but I am saying "Eureka!" Sometimes it is more satisfying to discover something by yourself, rather than just being told how.

Now enough of this blogging about my silly, slow brain, and back to the studio to make those blocks!


  1. Ok, I have to come by tomorrow am before you go out to PLTC because I am still utterly confused (like, if you're a moron, I'm just downright retarded...). I adore those quilts she does at FITF (I think she's posted 2 maybe), and I cannot for the life of me figure out how she's planning the blocks. And I am baffled by yours, too, even though it is clearly laid out in front of me...Whatever the process, the end result looks like it's gonna be faboooooooooo! xo M.

  2. Definitely not a moron! That's a great idea. And this looks like it will be really cool.