A Girl’s Best Friend

Remember the song “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”? (It’s from the Broadway show Gentlemen Prefer Blonds, later made into a movie with Marilyn Monroe.)

I’m not 100% sure diamonds are a quilter’s best friend, but one of our triangle swap group made her scrappy triangles into a beautiful diamond quilt, so I had to do the same.

I was especially happy to have backing printed with diamonds, and a blue striped binding fabric that worked.

I quilted with a metallic thread recommended at Studio Stitch, and it is the ONLY metallic I’ve ever used that gave me no trouble at all. It’s Fujix King Star metallic embroidery thread, and I was pleased with it! It’s thin, so it didn’t show up much, but I’ll be using it for other projects.

I don’t think you can see the silver thread on the white fabric at all, but look for the wavy lines on the dark blue areas.

Quilt Stats

Pattern: none

Finished block size: 6″ x 12″

Finished quilt size: 48″ x 51″

Made with swap blocks

Pieced and quilted by me

The Ken Burns Quilt Collection

The only place in the Southeastern U.S. to host the “Uncovered” exhibit is the Upcountry History Museum in Greenville, SC. That’s only a half day’s drive from us, so my husband and I were fortunate enough to visit despite you-know-what. We wore masks everywhere and ate takeout in our hotel room, so we felt relatively safe.

The Upcountry History Museum in Greenville, SC

The exhibit was put together by the International Quilt Museum after Ken Burns donated his extensive quilt collection. You can see pictures of the quilts in the travelling show on their website here. There was a nice video that went with the exhibit as well.

Most of the quilts were from the late 19th or early 20th Century. Photos were allowed as long as flash wasn’t used, so here are my personal favorites. You can see much better pictures of all the quilts on the International Quilt Museum website here.

Joseph’s Coat, 1880-1900

Princess Feather dated 1876

String Star 1880-1900

Splendid Stars Finish

I finished this at the very end of last year. I included a picture of it in my year-end review but never wrote about the details. Here we go:

I found a box of blocks that were all stars from similar fabrics, but I really had no idea how old they were or why I made them. Now that’s a real UFO!

I took them to retreat in the fall of 2021 and improvised a layout, making up fill-in blocks as I went along.

…then made additional blocks and strips to fill in the holes

Yes, there were lots of partial seams.

When it came back from the quilter, I decided to do the “faux piping” binding that I hadn’t done in a long time. It came out just fine. There are instructions several places online.

And here’s the finished quilt:

Splendid Stars, 51″ x 53″

Quilt Stats

Name: Splendid Stars

Pattern: None; various star blocks were arranged improvisationally

Finished size: 51″ x 53″

Quilted by: Susan Holmes



Circle of Nine Quilts

I found this book in my library when I was sorting things for the move and noted that it had an interesting layout for blocks.

It is an old book (2013) but my online research revealed that there is a newer one, Best of Circle of Nine, available from Keepsake Quilting. It looks like that book includes the “best” designs from my Circle of Nine book and the one that preceded it, which I do not own.

So in December when I should have been doing other things, I used the book to make two quilts from orphan blocks.

The first used blocks that finish 8″, and made a quilt that finished 36″ with the border added. That is perfect for a preemie incubator covering, so it’s a win for the orphan blocks.

I should note that the book offers many interesting ideas for pieced sashing, but I thought the blocks were busy enough by themselves so I just used plain sashing and it went together fast.

The second quilt was made with orphan blocks that finished that finish 10″. The quilt was 40″ square without borders, also perfect for Ronald McDonald House.

Of course I couldn’t just leave it at that, so I used EQ to expand the “Circle of Nine” idea to use 25 blocks. Here’s what it looked like:

Design made with Electric Quilt 8

The Circle of Nine quilts were great for using up orphan blocks. I don’t think I’ll make the 25-block version 😀


Various Updates

First, a “word to the wise”: If you bring something to be mended, it may be patched with scraps from the quilt-in-progress 😀

One of the happy things last year was that, in a brief pause of the pandemic, I had a visit from a blogging friend, Laura of Purple Tulip Music. It was fun to meet her and to find out how much we have in common–no surprise, I guess, since we read each other’s blogs.

I made both grandsons pillow-mats for Christmas, having learned of them from a friend. It was a good use for all the pieces of polyester fleece I had stored in a box. There are  instructions several places online.

And finally, I have a couple of new classes coming up at Studio Stitch. One is a shirt, just to see if there’s any interest in clothing classes. The other is one of my favorite quilt projects: A scrap quilt made from leftovers of all the quilts made in the past year! Here are pictures of the two projects:

Anybody have special plans for 2022?