Have you ever been so inspired that you nearly drop everything right then and there and begin?  I borrowed Gwen Marston’s book Liberated Quiltmaking (1996) from the library and combed through the book cover to cover twice in one sitting.  It was a revelation, and I could hardly quiet my mind until I got a project under way. This newfound energy propelled me along to complete the quilt top in one day.  The family doesn’t need to be fed freshly made meals, right?  There IS cereal in the cupbord, after all.  And let’s not forget the joys of microwave popcorn.

I’m normally not a mini quilt person, but I wanted to try a new technique and also explore color and value – a perfect pairing for a small project.  It just so happened this coincided with National Quilting Day (March 19th) so I felt further justified in not finishing something but starting something.  I’m an enabler, what can I say?


The well loved library book among one of my fabric pulls.  I chose to use Gwen’s half square triangle technique and made 9 shoo fly blocks – except I only found 8 colors that I wanted to use in my stash, so one shoo-fly was a non-shoo-fly.  I attempted to pull saturated colors for the center of each shoo-fly and build it’s half square triangles with a darker value to highlight the center. I succeeded at this to varying degrees, being limited to fabrics I had on hand.  The light green one ended up with two different hues, not quite what I was going for but it fits in.  I also toyed with adding one print, but abandoned that idea because it took center stage.  I used two fabrics for the background, and the darker grey “painter’s canvas” print was much lighter from the back so I used both sides to mix things up a bit.  Here is the complete quilt top:


A small quilt also makes a great hand quilting project.  I have currently worked pairs of stitching lines horizontally across the quilt and am trying to decide if I am done or if I want to repeat the stitching vertically too.  Or, maybe I want to add some stitches in color…  what do you think?