Episode 130: Can This Quilt Be Saved?

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So that “Harvest Traditions” quilt pattern turned out to be a bust. Terrible instructions! So what to do with all that fabric that I cut out? How about a modern maple?


I have seven more leaves to make. I’ll use leftover fabric from the Harvest quilt for the backing. Because the fabrics I have are creams, beiges and tans, I’m going to call this my “Muddled Modern Maple.”

Took a paper-piecing class yesterday and think I finally figured out what I needed to figure out. Here’s a block I made:


Finally, inspired by my paper-piecing teacher’s use of a light box, I found a nifty tutorial online and made one myself using a scrapbook storage box and some touch lights. Neat!



13 Replies to “Episode 130: Can This Quilt Be Saved?”

  1. WHERE is the podcast …. tried to download from PODBEAN and there was no link…. might not have loaded.

    As to the MODERN MAPLE … by all means change the pattern… it will be your quilt design. YOU are good enough to branch off and make your own designs and patterns… much more fun then following other peoples patterns.

    As for paper piecing …. keep on doing it …. remember USE IT OR LOOSE IT… one of the skills if you do not practice you will not remember how to do it in the future.

    Gee did you come to my house and borrowed my light box… YOURS looks just like mine. Have fun

    I will listen to the podcast as soon as it is loaded.

  2. Been listening to your podcasts for a few months and was inspired to comment to 130, Just love your idea of the sabbath year. I will be entering my 11th one come January and I’m going to take mine for the first time. The more you do in your guild, the more they ask you to do! I’m saying “no” in 2014–But have to finish my stint as Programs chair.
    About hanging quilts I use my stapler.. Heavy duty one but with lightweight staples. In fact even quilts that do have a sleeve, I sometimes use a stapler to tack down the corners to make a wonky one lay straight.
    Congratulations on turning your harvest mess into a beautiful modern maple. Others might have stuck in a corner or thrown it away but you persevered.
    Also congratulations on conquering paper piecing!

  3. I have been quietly listening for a couple years now. I listen while at work on my iphone and can’t access the blog so I very seldom make comments because once home I have other things on my mind. Anyway, wanted to say I enjoy your podcast on a regular basis.
    I once learned paper piecing and actually drew some patterns to use (on my computer, I’m a drafter) and made a couple quilts. I say “once” because I recently tried it again and found that I had to relearn it all over again. Thankfully , the backward thinking came a little quicker this time. I did remember a discovery I made that I would like to share. I have a desk lamp I keep next to my machine. I adjusted it down below my piece in hand near the table top. This way the light bounced off the table top and then up toward my work from below. It worked like a light box. This way I get the fabric situated right at the machine. I also like your light box and can see many uses for it such as tracing asymmetrical patterns so I can get them in reverse.


  4. I don’t know what made me smile more; your rant or Will going to the Duke-Miami game. My crew had gone out the same day to work on the School Play and then see “Thor,” so I was home watching the Duke game and piecing a top together.

    Sabbath Year sounds lovely; are you also taking a sabbatical from writing any books this year?

  5. I think your Modern Maple will work out great. Good solution! Also, thanks for the lightbox idea – genius! Tami In Denver

  6. I have to say that I have never heard you so angry! I looked at the pattern again and can’t really tell what you mean, but I do believe you. I have a hard time reading the instructions before making a project, because unless I have the materials in my hands, the instructions make no sense. I love your solution.

    The maple block is old. According to Jinny Beyer’s book, it was first published around 1906. There are several variations of the same pattern with slightly different names and looks. I think what happened with the Modern Maple is someone got interested and reinterpreted the pattern in a modern/contemporary way and it went viral. Definitely do your own thing. You have the skills to make that quilt without a pattern.

  7. I love listening to your podcast while I sew. Your voice is very calming and helps me settle into a grove which is not easy for me to do since I am usually very active.
    It is nice to hear you talk about your different quilting projects, along with some of the ones you sort of put off to work on another. I do that as well, though I usually put them off a LOT longer than you.
    Your podcast sounds as if we are sittin’ in the same room, at the sewing table, swapping stories. I love the background noise, specially Travis your trustee K-9.
    Also, because of you, I got onto Craftsy and bought a class. I will probably try and watch some of it tonight with my husband who also likes to dabble in some of the same crafts I do.
    I will make more of an effort to remark on your podcast more often, now that I am all caught up. Please keep them coming, we are out here ready to listen!

  8. Haha, I agree with Jaye, I was totally surprised you were ranting about the dang pattern! It’s not that I don’t understand, it was just odd to hear :)) And I agree with you a 100%!
    I was glad you got the paper piecing done at last, isn’t it fun? And the pattern you made is one of my favorites. I made a block with a sampler quilt I did from Craftsy last year and the Circle of Geese was one of the blocks.
    I really like the maple blocks you’re making, I had a swap a while back and I have a bunch of them I got from other people in fall colors.
    Thanks for giving me the idea for the sabbath as I’ll turn 42 in January and that could be my excuse :)))
    Hope Will made it without any incident from drunk people (why do they allow drinking in the parking lot before the game anyways?)
    I’m glad you’re back in the saddle as I listen to every single episode you put out. It’s mostly in the car so I rarely comment, but just so you know I love what you do!

  9. wow–you’re scary when you’re ranting 🙂 i was curious so had to take a look at the pattern myself–i’ve seen similar instructions in other quilt patterns and yes, they drive me crazy too. i rarely cut out ALL the fabrics when i start a quilt–i usually start with one block–cut and sew that one to make sure i like it, and then continue. i prefer scrappy quilts so if a block is intricate, i might just cut one block’s pieces at a time. in this case, i probably would’ve tried to isolate the pumpkins and sewn them together before cutting everything else out. oh well, at least your “new” maple quilt will be beautiful when you’re done.

    re: football games–we live in the SF Bay Area and my husband once took our 9-yr-old to a 49er game–it was a pre-season and against the Oakland Raiders so the crowd was extra rowdy. fights were breaking out all around them and the police were coming in to arrest people. i think my son was more interested in the fights then the game 🙂

    thanks for podcasting–i love listening to you talk (& rant!) while i sew 🙂

  10. Love the Sabbath idea. This would have been my year in a nutshell…I turned 42 and tried to scale back things I was doing without even knowing about Sabbath year! I guess you just intuitively know when you need to do these types of things.

    I have to say something in defense of the pattern that shall not be named designers….please just remember that when a designer submits a pattern, the instructions/graphics can be very different than what ends up in print in the magazine. We give up some rights to be in the magazine and that includes not having a say in the editing or the graphics. I know when my patterns have been in magazines, the instructions do not always go along with what I intended and the graphics are never the same. That being said, perhaps Colleen and Chloe (I think that’s what you named them) did a good job on their end but in the world of magazine editing, something was lost. Don’t give up on them! I’m sure if they knew you had a problem, they would probably wish they could jump on a plane and come help you out with it.

    Also…it would be a good idea for you to let the magazine know what happened so they can take a good, long look at the instructions and make some changes for the future.

    Ok, that’s all…mostly though, I’m happy to hear your mom is done with chemo and is doing well. That must have been a wonderful Thanksgiving for you all.


  11. Frances, a couple comments and a question.
    question: you were the podcaster who was reading The Husband’s Secret, weren’t you? I wondered if you liked it.
    paper piecing: it’s so difficult because it’s ***backwards. I have such a hard time with anything backwards. your geese project is going to be gorgeous.
    Call The Midwife: Louisiana Public Broadcasting is showing a holiday special on 12/29. maybe in NC too.

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