Playing with favorites ~

Do you have favorites?  I do:  And one of those favorites is Gwen Marston and one of my favorite of her books (with Cathy Jones) is Free Range Triangle AQS Publication.

In their book, there are conversations on inspiration, lessons learned,  construction tips and free and open range triangles.  It's the free and open that drew me in. 

Being under 'house arrest' for the past several weeks has given me an opportunity to browse through my favorite scraps.....that would be all of come up with a couple of free range and care free triangle quilts. 

Here are the first free range triangles surrounded by a minimal style patched border.  I know, I know, we aren't suppose to add borders to make a larger quilt, but that's exactly why and what I did to this one. 

A quilt - patched triangles with improv patched borders - marty mason

A quilt - patched triangles with improv patched borders - marty mason

And the second set of free range triangles were sewn in columns separated by various widths of a Tula Pink betsybug red.  This one also needed to be enlarged and a Bonnie and Camille on the shelf just fit the bill.

A quilt - patched triangles with asymmetrical borders - marty mason

patched triangles sashed by Tula Pink betsybug red - marty mason

 Mary Elizabeth Kinch shared in a workshop I attended her thoughts on the 'power of ish'.  Interpreted here to mean that a 5"  border strip might be enhanced by adding a 4" ish border to the other side.  Oh, it's powerful when there isn't enough of one fabric to be symmetrical. 


Moving On ~

I had to get a grip.....just before ripping out many days of hand stitching these hexagons together!!!!

I was rocking along pretty well yesterday afternoon, being almost finished stitching down the hexie frames for these seven 15" x 24" rectangles.  It wasn't until I finished stitching all seven framed rectangles into one whole that I noticed they weren't properly aligned. Well, rats behind!  I've done it again.

Oops!  Isn't  the spacing at top and bottom suppose to look alike?  

Taking a deep breath, remembering my mantra to rethink the possibilities and never envision a finished quilt until it is finished.  Turns out those are pretty positive mantras since my look alike of  Kathy Doughty's quilt Mirror, Mirror didn't mirror the image I saw of her finished quilt.   Time to get a grip, breathe deep and know that patterns are meant to be guidelines, not rules of life. 

To be continued ~


Monday, Monday ~

Monday, Monday, so good to me............but you hold no guarantees.  But then, no day ever does.  Guess I'll just make my way to the sewing room to see what's up and on the design board and what's on the drawing board and what's on my mind.

Working in a series....another improv to the houses work in progress.  This is number 8 or 9 or so.  Whose counting?  I'll probably call this one "In The City."

This is what our 'garden' homes look like.  Small with almost look alike roofs and so close together with limited green space.   Yet, there are days when this is a very desirable condition.

improv to the houses.....a quilt block by  marty mason

Next is my vision of a high rise nested in a one-family housing neighborhood.  

improv to the houses.....a quilt block by  marty mason

8 level apartment complex under one roof!

improv to the houses.....a quilt block by  marty mason

And fabric pulled for my next quilt.....homespun.  Very fitting for this Monday where I'll be staying home.  Monday, Monday - so good to me.

Shopping? Well - Yes!

I just ordered gardening gloves from!  How convenient is that.  I will be hopeful that the ground will dry out about the time I get my gardening gloves in the mail.  While there may not be a virus in my soil, I do like to protect against critter (and other crawly things)  bites. 

And gas prices are so low, but the tanks are full!  Wouldn't you know.

It's Sunday, so I've been thinking this may put a lot of churches over the edge, especially those smaller ones that were hanging on by a thread before the pandemic.   Of course, the large mega ones probably have parishioners who have automated bank or credit card drafting so while they might have to curtail their brick and mortar spending, will survive and make up the deficit after the fact. 

So, I continue to enjoy my aloneness.  Amazing how the drama that was in my private life is not so filled with drama as the days pass.  Refreshing actually.  As refreshing as this contemporary sunflower quilt found while digging deep. 

Contemporary Sunflower.....

Good News Con't ~

While searching for a Kathy Doughty quilt pattern this morning, I found it.....the one I blogged about the other day and couldn't find the pattern maker.    Yes, I found it in Simply Moderne Magazine #10, 2017.   So now I can give credit to Sarah Sharp @nohatsquilts for instructions on how she constructed her Radiant Arrow quilt.....the likeness of which I attempted to duplicate.  Thank you Sarah and thank you Simply Moderne for the pleasure of your company in my sewing studio.

It's raining outside today while the stars continue to be aligned.

Scraps and other notes ~

It was a fine morning to work in scraps to make great progress in Leila Gardunia's year of scrappy triangles.  Not a 2020 year, but one in my past that I copied Leila's  52 paper piecing patterns, each one different from the other,   and baby, would you look at them now.  They look fabulous all lined up in no particular order or design layout and with only 8 more to go......

It's too late to turn back now.  What a great time to paper piece while alone without distractions.

And the good news is ~

Not the way I usually spend March, but a very productive one, nonetheless.    The ins and outs of the house have been minimal.....basic needs, walks around the neighborhood, out the back door to the quilt-picture-taking-porch.

stars and arrow quilt - pieced and hand quilted - marty mason

The sun has been in and out for the last few days so I've gotten a few good pics of the just finished....hand quilted....stars and arrow quilt.  Shamefaced - I don't remember where or when I saw this pattern....on the internet somewhere - so  sadly, no credit is given to this delightful quilt designer.  I often see pictures (without a pattern) and make an attempt to replicate.  This is probably what I did with this stars and arrow strip pieced quilt. 

stars and arrow quilt - pieced and hand quilted - marty mason

stars and arrow quilt - pieced and hand quilted - marty mason

stars and arrow quilt - pieced and hand quilted - marty mason

A book on the  shelf caught my eye yesterday - Elizabeth Barton's  "Inspired Design."  While thumbing through, I especially enjoyed reading her thoughts on evaluating design.  Does the image convey your main it pulled together so that people are engaged and want to continue looking.  Barton encourages evaluating an art quilt at every stage in the process, using basic principles of design as a checklist. 

  • Unity and harmony
  • Variety and tension
  • Balance and tension
  • Balance and proportion
  • Repetition, rhythm and movement
  • Economy
But while all these points of evaluation are important, what stayed with me yesterday was her thoughts on economy.....Elizabeth says that economy is one of  the most important guidelines.....and that a successful piece of visual art can be compared to a poem where every word adds something to the meaning.  While there will be connecting words, there should be nothing filler added simply to take up space.

working in a series - house quilts by marty mason

Case in point.  Why, oh why, did I ever add that top border? only takes up space!   The theme was houses and what lives within and without, so why, oh why,  did I add that undesirable filler?????  A lesson learned while working in the series:  house quilts.  

All this leads me to a friend's call yesterday to check on the 'elderly'. In conversation, she shared that her last finished quilt didn't include a border.  She said with every fabric she auditioned, the more convinced she became that an outer border detracted from her quilt.  (Well done my traditional quilt maker friend....well done!)   Elizabeth Barton would be pleased that you didn't add that filler just to follow the 'rules' imposed by many traditionalists.