Monday, October 7, 2019


I'm bored... 

My stash isn't huge, and it seems lately I've stocked up on mostly blenders, tone-on-tones, color-plus-white, and low volumes. My sewing lately seems to be mostly quick, simple donation quilts, nothing that takes any planning or focus.

I've recently finished two long-term projects, Dr. Seuss's Pickle Dish and the Checkerboards and Dresdens top. I need a new long-term project that's more complicated than simple mindless sewing.

Ever since I wrote my post for the Quilter's Meet and Greet, I've been thinking about something like a cross between Dresdens and Loop in Motion. I've been playing in EQ.

Option 1: traditional five blades per fan using the Easy Dresden tool; each blade 2" at the widest.

Option 2: Four blades per fan, custom template, 2-1/2" at the widest.

Option 3: Three blades, custom template, 3-1/4" at the widest.

All blocks are 8" finished, quilts 68" finished as shown.

I've also looked through my entire stash and found it lacking. I prefer warm colors and I want something a little bolder than the blenders etc. that I have - maybe even clashy.

While in Florida recently I visited A and E Fabrics in Pensacola and did a bit of stash enhancement. From the sale aisles I found some yardage for backings.

And I selected some prints that may form the nucleus of a new project. For scale, the bands of the Jen Kingwell print (bottom) are 5" wide, and the largest dandelion seed head showing (right) is about 2" in diameter. My favorite prints of these are the olive ground floral and the russet poppies.

I showed all this to my friends at our First Saturday gathering over the weekend and asked for their input. I won't tell you which of the layouts they preferred. I did say that by next meeting I would look for background fabric and make a test block of each layout. 

I'd like your input on where I'm going with this and which layout you prefer and why. Please share your thoughts; this is still in the percolating-around-in-my-mind stage and is subject to change, revision, further development or whatever. 


  1. Five blades appears too busy, 3 blades to lumpy, 4 blades just right!

  2. Funny but I'm starting to like the 3 blades ;-) I'll wait to see the samples and see how they look. I love that green flower looks great in the photo as well as IRL.

  3. With the 5 blades, I really only see the pattern as a whole. With the 4 blades, I start to focus on the individual blades. With the 3 blades my focus is on the individual blades. So if you have a good variety of interesting fabrics, the 3 blades will work. If not, do the 4 blades, this way both the overall pattern and the individual blades will be eye catching.

  4. How timely. We're doing this as a border in our BOM at our local quilt shop. We're using the five blades and I'm here to tell you in 'reality' it's wonderful. You're just seeing it on EQ, it's my take, having done it in the five, it's amazing. Having said that, this is extremely time consuming, but worth it. As for the prints, keep growing your stash, keep looking, you'll know when it's right.

  5. I like the three blades best. Something about it's chunkiness really appeals to me. I also think it will showcase the larger prints a little better, since each individual blade is larger. If you chop all the prints into thin slices, why not use blenders?

    Funny, I woke up this morning thinking about my "Skinny Robin" mariner's compass ruler and how it would be nice to have a longer-running, more complicated project to work on :)

  6. Without an enormous amount of thought (or reading the previous comments), I prefer the three-blade layout. Why? It involves a custom template (up your alley), it allows more of the fabric to show (again, letting you feature those prints you said you preferred), and it is an atypical layout (again, making it special to you and not just like someone else's design). Donate some of the blenders to another quilter and get the fabrics you love - life's too short to sew with fabrics we don't like!

  7. OR -- perhaps the three blade blocks for the center ring and the four block blades for the outer ring? That's if you want to mix things up a bit . . .

  8. I like option one the best personally. It is more complicated and intricate. But if I were making it, would make option three because it is easier!

  9. Those are wonderful designs! And do look a wee bit challenging. I am eager to watch this quilt grow.

  10. It was fun to look at the 3 options. In the 5 blade I think I was more aware of the overall design rather than the individual fabrics. In the 4 and 3 blade options I became more aware of the fabrics. Maybe the 4 blade is a nice mixture of both fabric and over all design. All of the choices were nice.
    Nancy A:

  11. I like the 5 blade layout. The secondary pattern in it really caught my interest. You mentioned the background fabrics you choose as neutrals. I see this quilt in the colors on your favorite olive fabric. The background in the green with the blades in the pinks, creams, oranges, and lavender. readingtirzah at

  12. I love it when people share their opinions with me on my blog so I am going to just share my first reaction. I like the 5 blade fan look the best; however, after seeing the fabrics that you are leaning toward, they are rather large scale and I don't know if they will work with the skinnier blades. Love the colors though! I'll be interested to see what you decide.