That scant 1/4″


I continue to work on my Meadowlark Quilt Top. 

As I think back, I took my first quilting class at 19 years of age. This was 26 years ago! I recall, at that time, making a few quilts, I made one for my own bed, I made one for my parents, and a baby quilt for each of my nephews. Soon afterward, I began using cloth as a medium, trying out new techniques and ideas, making stuff up, having fun, as so many of us do. Piecing to make blocks to a specific size quickly went to the wayside.

Recently, when I started using the Quiltography for iPad app, I didn’t question my skill set compared to the shiny, beautiful, somewhat imaginary and easy to create virtual-quilt-top-ideas generated through the app. I just figured, yeah, I can do that. Until I tested out sewing a Half Rectangle Triangle and found that block to be a bit fiddly, being sewn along the bias and all. I researched rulers and techniques to get the job done. I settled on paper piecing, hence all of the ripped and torn scraps above.

One of the skills I forgot in the intervening years was sewing to a scant quarter inch. My machine is a Bernina 1001 and a scant quarter inch resides under and to the left of the 1/4″ foots outside edge. 


I am happy to say, most of these blocks measure the prescribed 10.5″ they are intended to be. Some still need to be ripped and resewn (Sigh). In the meantime, I realize that I need to sew a SCANT 1/4″. I will test out my machine, measure, and perhaps even place some tape in the correct position to obtain that elusive and scant 1/4″.  These blocks are loosely arranged (not according to the pattern). I am going back through them and measuring them to see if I swallowed up too much fabric when sewing them together. Ripping is the name of my game right now. 

When I first realized my mistake, I wanted to bury the project in the deep annals of all-things-unfinished. But I got over that. ✨ I am glad I figured out what I was doing wrong.


I  finished the first of the two borders, all of which turned out to be 10.5″, thank goodness.

It is now time to begin sewing, cutting and creating the final border. The one difference between the real quilt and the app’s representation of the quilt is that the tile fabric will not appear as lines perpendicular to the outside edge of the quilt. The app can’t quite parse that one out and I do not know how to compensate for that either. I don’t really think it is necessary. 

I look forward to seeing how this comes together. 

meadowlark, design, cut and sew?

I have been using, and loving, Quiltography for iPad. It has ‘potato chip factor’, which means, I open it, start designing and cannot stop. I think I have designed over 40 quilt tops using Meadowlark. But it is now time to begin making quilts using the information the app provides. As I have been doing this, I realize that, I have never designed, cut and made a quilt top in this manner before. Previously, I have done improvisational piecing or have used an established pattern. 


After designing the quilt top, I started by making a few sample blocks. This helped me to understand that the Half Rectangle Triangles used on the star block (photo below), were somewhat tricky. To get the HRT sewn well, it seemed that I should either paper piece or perhaps purchase a ruler specific to the task.

Although I continue to want the Bloc_Loc Half Rectangle Triangle, for whatever reason, I chose to use paper piecing this time around. Paper piecing is accessible and easy to do. I drew out my block, scanned that into my computer and printed as many as was needed to complete the stars in the upper left of the quilt top. As you can see, there is a bit of waste with this method, but it seemed to me by watching the video related to the ruler that waste is part of acheiving an elongated triangle, no matter what approach you use.

So I bit the bullet and proceeded with paper piecing. At the moment, I have all of the star blocks complete. Yeah!!

Today I will begin cutting asymmetrical border #1, which is all straight line stitching. I am excited to have found a Bloc_Loc Half Square Triangle ruler at my local quilt store, The City Quilter (which also carries my line-and sells online), so I bought in the 6″ size. If they had the Half Rectangle Triangle, I would have bought that too.  😉 

The yellow in this photograph appears a bit too bright, I will work on getting the color better in future photographs.

It will be quite interesting to see the entire quilt upon completion. It is interesting to use the Quiltography for iPad app to design, but as I make the quilt blocks, I keep thinking about the size of the screen and the images you are able to see as you design within the app, compared to full sized, made in cloth quilt. 

Designing a quilt from start to finish with the intention of making blocks to a specific measurement has been a very interesting experience. I like it! And, with my affection for two sided quilts, I may well be making quilt top #2, to back this one!

I look forward to spring, don’t you? And because I need distraction, if you are making something you are excited about, I would love for you to share a link to your blog. Please show me what you are up to!


Wow. My Quilt Top Challenge.

I am stepping back into my own and it feels good. 

Artistically speaking, I have been on ‘secret hold’ for more than a year. Meaning, I have not been able to show my art, talk about it, not much of anything really. That is a difficult place to be, when you keep a blog where you talk about what you make. As I resume my artistic trajectory, I have been circling several different projects, the quilt top challenge being among them.


 So far, I have made 5 blocks, pictured in the first photograph of this post. This morning, I did the math for the cutting of the rest of the star blocks. I am calling this block the Squat Star, because the points of the star are so short. (But also because I love squats in weight lifting!!).

I have been fussing and fretting over how to most effectively make Half Rectangle Triangles while keeping strong points. I have settled on using paper piecing as my method of doing so. I am unsure this is economical, it seems to waste quite a bit of cloth, but, I have gotten the swing of this approach, so I will stick with it for now.

I feel somewhat lost in my ability to grab this project by the horns and just make the top! I haven’t made a quilt to a specific scale from start to finish before, designing, doing the math, cutting, sewing and quilting. Usually, I either freeform or use an established pattern. So this is really working my skill set. 

I have completed these 5 blocks:


My next set of blocks will look like this:

2Sylvia 3Sylvia

I need to make 12 of the above block. I really look forward to cutting and using the fruit print. I had a bunch of fun creating that multicolor set and seeing it printed in Meadowlark is a treat.

Want to know some inside information? The blueberries, seen in the lower right, were originally drawn while going to school at the Fashion Institute of Technology. I normally draw things out on tracing paper, I find it easier to work with because it is transparent and you can layer and shift it around, making it easier to see what you are doing. That piece of tracing paper was tucked into a journal from that period and when I started working this fruit piece, I knew I had to make use of the drawing. I has stuck with me through 5 moves and I still knew where to find it when I wanted to use it this second time around! If you have this cloth, check out the little crown where the blueberry flower would have been attached, I love how that area printed. The above photo, unfortunately does not show the detail well as it is a screen shot from the Quiltography for iPad app (which I curve!).  😎 

Are you making a quilt top (or any other item) using Meadowlark? If so, I would love to see your progress.




This is a very rough draft document that follows the tracking of making this quilt top. More updates to follow. Please, check it out.