Category Archives: Quilting

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

It all began with a roll of white and cream fabrics that come pre-cut at 2 1/2 inches wide in a package of 20 fabrics. And every now and then, I like to make something up and not do a standard traditional pattern. But how to showcase the whites?

I also had a set of brightly colored fabrics I wanted to use, but the best designs come from limiting my palette. So I chose 5 solid (or almost solid) colors, 3 patterns, and a white with a little pattern. One of the patterns had a gradation, so it really looked like many colors.

strips dark to light

I stitched a bunch of groups of 4 together ranging from some that were all white to some that had no white in them at all. The idea was to group them together in blocks of 16 squares that ranged from light to dark. And then to arrange them so there was a bit of gradation on the whole top.

I tried a few arrangements before settling on the final one. My goal was to make it look like there wasn’t really a pattern when secretly there was.

This sat on my wall through the Christmas holiday while life rushed on, and I thought about how to do a border. It may not look like it, but there are really 3 borders on this. The innermost border and the second border are the same checkerboard pattern of all the colors with a white-on-white print on the first and a black-on-white print in the second.


The outermost border is all from only 2 fabrics, the gradated fabric and a black with white text print. Much to my frustration, the same text print as the first 2 borders did not come in a black-on-white. So I’m not going to show you this fabric close up. The only trick with this border was to make sure that the gradation rounded all 4 corners without a visual jump.

I quilted it with a blue thread on the back and a clear nylon on the front. I’m a big fan of stitching in the ditch, which for you non-quilters is stitching in the seam between the rows. Unfortunately, because of the sheer size of this thing, I had to turn it in my machine and ended up pulling the center rows in opposite directions which resulted in a wonky center. Since viewing the pattern (or non-pattern) is dependent on perfectly straight lines, I had to fix that. So I spent a meditative week ripping out all the bad stitching and a few hours on the weekend restitching the quilting. ABSOLUTELY worth the effort.

Dark & Stormy Night – 92×92

And why did I call it Dark & Stormy Night? Well it’s true that I love mysteries. But really it because of the story that is on the print text fabric. It never does actually say it was a dark and stormy night. but it is very noir in its own right. See for yourself.

“Ray’s been shot Frank.”

Trip Around the World – One Year Later

I began a pretty green quilt for myself about a year ago. It was something I was doing in-between other projects. As a result, it took waaaaaay longer to finish than many of my other quilts. But finished it is.

I pinned all the layers together at the beginning of April and here it is June. Felt like longer!


I should have taken a picture with all the safety pins in it. They always look so punk that way.

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Trip Around the World Quilt

Or how I can’t just seem to work on one project at a time.

Those of you who have been following along in the past few weeks know I am working on a T-shirt quilt for step-daughter M—. As interesting as it is, it is pretty dark overall. When I saw a package of pre-cut fabric strips with the tantalizing moniker of Sea Glass, I just had to have them. Not only are they pretty colors, but they are batiks. My absolute favorite kind of fabric to work with. It irons crisply which makes it easier to line up all the edges and points.


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How to Make a T-Shirt Quilt the Hard Way (part 2)

On to sewing all the t-shirt pieces together. After choosing a background fabric, the first thing I did was to sew strips along the sides.


This is where the not measuring or doing much math came in. My goal was to section the design into blocks and sew each of those together. If the final design came out a little different in size than the original layout, then so be it. I guessed at the amount to go in between these first few and trimmed it back after I laid them all out on the floor. Continue reading…

How to Make a T-Shirt Quilt the Hard Way

The Pile

The Pile

A few weeks ago my lovely step-daughter moved to Denver with her boyfriend. Great to see her grow up, but I feel really conflicted about having her so far away. Anywhere I have to get on a plane to go to is far away. They piled a ton of stuff into 2 cars and off they went. In her wake, she left some t-shirts that have meant a lot to her, and she just couldn’t see giving them to the thrift store or throwing them out. Dedicated step-mom that I am, I said, “Keep them. I can turn them into a quilt for you. One, two, three.” I’d made one for a friend a few years ago and there was nothing to it. Continue reading…

Mini Wall Hanging for Mom

Almost two years ago, my mother and step-father moved into a retirement community. They had both been very active in their local library, so I was anxious to see the library in the main building of their new residence. It’s a nice little space, but I wanted to give it the Debby touch. So I offered to make a wall hanging for it.

I’ve been quilting for over 20 years, so I have quite a stash of weird pieces. I only had a space of 18 x 36 inches to fit this into, so I knew I couldn’t make it wider than about a foot. I wanted it to be taller than wider, so I just guessed on where it would look good. No pattern and very little measuring.

My Starting Sketch

My Starting Sketch

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