Tag Archives: A Quilter’s Mixology

Modern Curves

I hereby declare this is drunkards path week. First, I featured the paintings of Luiz Zerbini. Now, I want to show you two small quilts, let’s call them quiltlets, I’ve been working on. They use the modern drunkards path block.

What makes this block modern? As the photo below shows, the larger, traditional orange and yellow blocks have at least a half inch between the outer edge and the pie piece, while in the smaller modern blocks the distance between the pie  and the curved piece is just 1/4 inch. When the modern blocks are sewn together, the pies touch each other. At least that’s the theory.

Inspired by the work of Jenny Haynes, I created a flower pillow and a small quilt using the templates I had copied from the back of Angela Pingel’s “A Quilter’s Mixology.”

The 15.5 inch pillow cover is made up of 3.5 inch blocks and is quilted with my sewing machine’s serpentine stitch.

The 20.5 by 24.5 inch quiltlet reverses the light and dark colors from the pillow cover.

The stem is a strip of old curtain material I plucked from the theater costume shop’s garbage can.

I’m still working up a quilting design for “Flower Power” but have managed to start two new projects, so I’ve shoved all the boring (to me) finishing chores to the bottom of the heap. I have a month and a half until the close of 2018, plenty of time for all the facings/bindings/quilting/hanging sleeves needed.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Friday.


Filed under In Process, Modern Quilting

The Big Project

My 2015 “must make” list includes a modern drunkards path. I was entranced with this mockup of such a quilt I found on Pinterest, so I resolved to develop my own version.

drunkards path ideaThe design is from Anne Sullivan at play-crafts.com. She may have created it for the Quilt Design A Day challenge. Her Flickr page is fun to look at.

To show how serious I am about this, I’ve drafted a pattern that should finish at 50 inches by 70 inches, and possibly larger depending on border choices.

DP layout sketchThe x’s will be dark fabric, while the o’s will be light. I plan to have the blocks finish at 5 inches, and have used templates I made from Angela Pingel’s A Quilter’s Mixology book.

modern DP templates Angela Pingel

I had considered making the ground out of my dark fabric but realized I wouldn’t have enough of the Kaffe Fassett fabric I planned to use. I bought a selection of 6 inch assorted strips, and cut them up into squares.

Kaffe Fassett squaresOh my, it must have been sunny the day I took this picture.

Next, I traced the Ls and fat pieces using my templates and cut them out.

DP cut pieces

I cut the squares on the right from the fabric leftover from the Ls.

Right now all the pieces reside in a plastic shoebox to await marking of the curve centers. I think that will be a good use of TV commercial time.


Filed under In Process

Oops, I Did It Again

I’ve been making sterling progress on my M & Ms challenge quilt. Once I pieced and quilted it, I decided to eliminate a little waviness along the edges by blocking it. So, out came the water spray bottle and the T pins.

After spraying the quilt’s edges I pinned the quilt to the carpeting in the spare bedroom and left it to dry for a few days. When I returned to unpin it I noticed, to my horror, that the green fabric had bled a bit into the white background.

Now, the quilting world is divided into those who pre-wash fabric and those who don’t. I’m of the former school, mostly because that’s the way I started and I don’t want to combine washed and non-washed fabric. And there have been times when the extra step has paid off.

To return to that green fabric, it’s a piece of hand dyed fabric I was given. Since I rinse/wash/rinse my hand dyes I made the assumption everyone did the same. I didn’t wash it before use. Oops.

The bleeding might not have shown up on another color background, but on white you have no margin for error.

After the first wave of dismay passed I began to think about how to fix this.  I rejected bleaching as in the past I’ve made the original problem worse using that method.

Finally I decided to paint over the area with white fabric paint. Out came my trusty Jacquard textile paints and a thin paint brush. Careful daubing covered the bleed.

After painting

Is it perfect? No, but unless you’re less than about six inches away from the quilt you can’t really see the repair.

Dandy Candy

Disaster averted? Well, the green did bleed through to the backing a bit, but I’ll cover that up with the hanging sleeve.

If you have other, better ways of dealing with this kind of mess please let me know. I’m sure I’ll need that information in the future.



Filed under Commentary, dyeing, In Process

Candy Is Dandy

Since my free motion quilting adventures await the delivery of my new bobbin cases, I began work on my guild  M&M candy challenge quilt guilt free. I didn’t even eat the candy.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m using a pattern (gasp) from the new book A Quilter’s Mixology by Angela Pingel.  It’s called Loosely Curved Wall Hanging. My colors must be only those on a package of peanut M&Ms, and five of them must be used on the quilt front. Here are my choices.

candy challenge piecingKind of like the basic box of crayons, but candy manufacturers don’t go for subtle color combinations. I plan to add brown as the binding color.

Piecing was straightforward, except for the drunkards path blocks. I followed the book’s directions for sewing them and found it worked well.  I had very little block trimming to do.

The book calls for you to crease both the pie and the L pieces in the middle of the curve with your iron, pin just the mid point, put the two pieces together, and start sewing at one edge. When you reach the mid point, you cut thread, turn the block over, and begin sewing from the other edge to the middle. Here’s a link to Angela’s video on her technique.

I sewed slowly and had no pleats or puckers. This would be even easier with a larger block.  Mine finished at 3.5 inches square.

The glitches I found in the book involved a drawing of pressing direction that was the opposite of that suggested in the text, and what seemed to be an omission of a few blocks from the cutting directions. Since I ignore most pressing directions in favor of open seams the first glitch didn’t bother me.

The second one confused me once I put my pieces up on the design wall and found a few holes.  I cut the pieces needed and was thankful I had enough fabric to do so.

candy challenge topAll sewn together and waiting to be quilted.

Now what can I make with the curved leftovers?

curved block leftovers


Filed under In Process

Modern Curves

I was happy to chance upon A Quilter’s Mixology by Angela Pingel at a library visit recently. The title refers to the drunkard’s path block, not specialty drinks like sunbonnet Sue smoothies or log cabin lager.

A quilter's mixology cover

Yes, this is a quilt pattern book (16, to be precise) but it re-imagines what can be done with the block. As the author says, “It becomes a modern and graphic design that reflects the original block, but introduces a new vision for using the shape.”

Pingel has devised a modern drunkard’s path block that has the quarter circle pieces meet at the seam line and has skinny L-shaped pieces. She uses this alone or in combination with the more traditional block.

Her book includes templates for the blocks, though she uses a die-cutting machine as a time saver. Speaking from experience, it can be tricky to cut accurately from thin template plastic shapes as little bits get shaved off when you cut fabric with your rotary cutter or scissors. I trace the shape with a gel roller pen and then cut on the traced lines.

As for sewing the curves of this block – often  a sticking point – Angela shows a method of sewing halfway from one end and then sewing from the other end to the middle.  The illustrations for this aren’t too clear, but I think you need to flip the block over.

Now for my favorites.

A Quilter's Mixology - Paint Drips Quilt beauty shotI love this clever graphic use of the modern block called Paint Drips.

sunrise table runner PingelThe Sunrise table runner is another striking use of the modern block.

nine patch curves PingelNine Patch Curves would satisfy the more traditional quilter’s fabric choices and work well in bold solids.

A Quilter's Mixology - Loosely Curved Wall Hanging beauty shotLoosely Curved is perfect for a guild challenge I have due in the fall.

I think this book will appeal to a wide array of quilters.  When I brought it to the last meeting of my MQG one member whipped out her smart phone and ordered a copy on the spot. You can read more about the above four plus the other twelve quilt patterns on Angela’s blog Cut To Pieces.


Filed under Books, Modern Quilting