streak of lightning

In October and November managed to get 5 long-standing projects to the finished top stage. Some quilters call them “flimsies” but I don’t like using that word to describe something as wonderful as a finished quilt top. (Just my opinion.) I had set a goal to finish 5 projects before year end, but I should be able to finish up 3 more before the end of the next week — potentially 8 finishes. Granted they are machine pieced and were in various stages of being completed, but I am feeling quite proud of my accomplishment especially since I hadn’t done much quilting in the 12 proceeding months.

Perhaps I am a bit overconfident — inspired by my recent finishes — but I’m setting a goal to finish 15 projects in 2015. Here’s the list in no particular order:

  1. Priscilla’s Beauty – hand pieced blocks with applique
  2. Case of the Secret Garden – hand pieced blocks
  3. Crazy Quilt block – Alaskan cruise class project
  4. Transfer Artist Paper (TAP) – old class sample
  5. Patchwork of the Crosses (POTC) – hand pieced
  6. Hexiflowers – hand pieced
  7. Rachelle – hand pieced blocks
  8. Colonial Garden
  9. Patriots in Petticoats – machine pieced
  10. Sun, Moon & Stars – appliqued blocks machine pieced
  11. 9 Patch Leader/Ender with Heart – machine pieced with applique
  12. Thea’s Baby Quilt – machine pieced
  13. Ethan’s New Quilt – machine pieced [same as Thea’s with different backing and binding]
  14. Scrappy Log Cabin – machine pieced
  15. Scrap Baskets – machine pieced / appliqued handles & hearts

While I was working on this post, Linda posted a photo to the Inklingo Facebook page. Yes! That’s the look I want to see 15 times this year.  (hahaha)




The two quilts I am featuring in this post are based on an antique quilt I found in this quilt book years ago.

plaid-streak-EQ7This is the Electric Quilt layout based on the antique quilt. You may have seen other quilting bloggers making this same quilt.

plaid-streakA photo of the finished quilt top that I took with my phone shortly after I finished the quilt at the end of October. (Excuse the quality of the photo. The design wall was cluttered up with quilting projects that didn’t belong to me. I didn’t want to remove them so my photo is less than stellar. Plus the quilt top wasn’t ironed yet.) The Half Square Triangle [HST] units are 3 inches square. I printed the light fabric using the Inklingo Half Square Triangle Collection, paired it with a plaid fabric, sewed on the dotted lines, and cut on the solid lines. Perfect HST units with no papers to remove and no squaring up of the units.

Linda’s video explaining the process.

quilt-helperI made a smaller version using this pink fabric with floral scraps to make the HST units. Featured in the photo is my former quilting buddy lying down on the job.

floral-streak-HSTThe floral streak of lightning version uses 2.5 inch Half Square Triangle units. Some of my floral scraps were too small to layer with the printed 2.5 inch HSTs. I used the Easy Angle Ruler to cut Half Square Triangles from the smaller floral scraps and paired them with the Half Square Triangles printed with Inklingo and chain pieced them.

floral-streak-chain-piecingThey went together beautifully.

floral-streakAnother less than stellar photo of my unironed floral streak of lightning quilt top hung on the same design wall in October. In the last 2 months, I have finished 4 quilt tops that have been languishing for years. One more to go to meet my goal of 5 finished tops before year end.

The easiest way to make Half Square Triangle Units!

Inklingo Half Square Triangle 00B Collection

After I put the previous problem child to bed, I was confronted with his fraternal twin. This one is a scrappy floral beauty with a pink tone-on-tone fabric and brown setting triangles in the same streak of lightning layout. It’s the fraternal twin to the scrappy plaid quilt because it came about when I originally miscut all the setting triangles for that quilt. Not wanting all those setting triangles to go to waste, I decided to make smaller HST units so I could use them in a quilt with the same setting.

One of the other maddening things about unbagging long-standing projects is trying to figure out just where you were in the quilt-making process. Unless you have a very good memory [not me!], you waste time figuring out what’s been done and what still needs to be done. Are all the blocks made? Is all the fabric I need here? Did I make all the flying geese units I need for the border? And on and on.

Because the first strip is sewn for this version of the streak of lightning quilt, I am assuming I must have all the HST units made that I need. However, I was also confronted with a number of these units when I unbagged this quilt.


Huh. At first I had no clue why I was sewing the units together like this—some have the HST units on the right side of the setting triangle and some have them on the left side.

I have the perfect solution to this “figuring-it-all-out” problem but some of my long-standing projects aren’t included in this perfect solution. [I need to remedy that!] This is a screenshot of a Microsoft program called OneNote.


OneNote is a digital notebook. [The 2013 version is available for free across multiple platforms at if you’d like to check it out.] It is not just one notebook though. You can create as many notebooks as you want. Each notebook can have multiple sections [think notebook dividers in a physical notebook] and each section can have multiple pages [think sheets of paper behind each divider in a physical notebook]. On those pages you can save just about anything—text, pictures, links, screenshots, webpages, charts, to-do lists and more—and like a corkboard, you can place your items anywhere on the page. What you see above is a page in a section called, Priscilla’s Beauty in my Quilting notebook. [That quilt used to be called Pomegranate Jam and that’s why the pages say Pomegranate Jam instead of the section name of Priscilla’s Beauty.]

When I have an idea for a quilt that I might want to make, I create a new section in my Quilting notebook for it. I usually add the EQ7 drawing and maybe some fabric swatches or a color chart. I might figure out the yardage needed and if the design is Inklingo-able, I might create a cheat sheet with the number and sizes I need to cut the fabric for printing.

This is a screenshot of my ideas for making my Case of the Secret Garden quilt larger with a border of applique and more New York Wheel blocks.


On the chart in the first screenshot, you can see where I have been keeping track of what’s been done [check marked items and yellow highlighter] and what still needs to be done [green highlighter] for my Priscilla’s Beauty quilt. Out of the whole drop-down menu and sections shown in that first screenshot, only SEVEN are for long-standing projects. Therein lies the downfall to my perfect solution. Ideally, every one of my 22 projects should have its own section with information on what’s been done and what needs to be done. [That way I could avoid that deer-in-the-headlights moment when I unbag a long-standing project.]

One last selling point for OneNote… There’s an app for my phone so I can access my Quilting notebook while at the quilt shop when I discover that perfect backing fabric but have no idea how much I need. That information is listed in the section called, Projects on a page for finished projects that are waiting to be quilted. Cool, huh?

Okay, back to my scrappy floral streak of lightning quilt top… After slapping those sections up on the design wall over the scrappy plaid strips, I found out I had come up with a way to sew two strips together at the same time and thereby eliminating the need to sew four of the long seams in the final quilt top assembly. [It’s a shame my brain won’t let me remember such brilliance when I first see it.] It would have taken me a lot longer to figure this out if I hadn’t already had the scrappy plaid quilt on the design wall. It would have taken a lot less time to figure this out if I’d had a section in my Quilting notebook for this quilt explaining my brilliant sewing plan.

I’m hoping to have this top together late tonight or sometime tomorrow at the latest. Two projects down, three more to go.


My focus in 2017:

Sewing in 2017

  • 1 Year of Stitches embroidery project
  • Hexiflowers (aka Grace's Garden)
  • Death Star pillow
  • Tonopah Nevada topographical map
  • 1855 Wales Center map
  • Winnie the Pooh map
  • Ethan's Quilt
  • Thea's Quilt
  • Rachelle Fae CQ block
  • Machine quilting with a walking foot

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