Going Dotty


IMG_3253 (2)

Last quilt of 2019.

Now for something completely different!  At least I think it is for me.  I wanted to do a medallion-style quilt, but not have the focal point in the exact center.  I started with the blue/orange stripe, with pink and orange slanted sections for each quarter.  After I sewed them into a square, I started adding some borders, using some black and white fabrics.  Then I decided that the “center” focal point needed some black to relate to the borders, so I fused on the curved black whirligig pieces.  Then I pulled out some of my “paint can lids” fabric to try (love it!), and added other polka dot and circle themed fabrics, as well as more black and white.  Finally, a strip of orange rick-rack!  I have quite a good collection of circle-themed fabric–  time to play with them some more!


Circles detail 1

Circles detail 2

School’s Out

This one features a fabric with lots of different fish.  I arranged the individual critters with some other fabrics.  Looking at the whole collage on my design wall, I decided it could use some seaweed on the right.  Glad I added it.  The piece is quilted with a horizontal meandering line (like waves!).


School's Out


School detail

Nearing the end of the decade

It’s December 30, one more day until we turn into 2020.  So why not look back at a few “oldies” that may not have shown up here before.

This one, “Nature’s First Green” (title of a Robert Frost poem) is from 2002.  A challenge quilt to “use your favorite color” so it features chartreuse.  Don’t we all love a little chartreuse to jazz things up?  The squares are fused on.

Nature's First Green


Nature's detail

This one, called jazzy blues, is a fuzzy picture but you get the idea.  A small piece.

Jazzy blues

“Big Leaf”  This one was done as part of a workshop with Pat Pauly.  About 40 X 40″.

quilts dec 007

And this one features feedsack fabric, a table runner.  Quite a contrast with the style of Big Leaf above!

quilt fair holiday 2015 052 (1)

That’s all for today.



I started this one in early Autumn.  Can you tell by the colors?  I love doing free-cut triangles.  I just pulled out many fall leaf-colored prints from my (vast) collection of fabric, and let ‘er rip!



Directional, detail

Directional, detail2


I started out making free-cut blocks in black with white/black patterned fabric.  Two of these fabrics are Australian, I love those fabrics.  After doing about 20 and looking at them on the design wall, I decided the whole thing was going to need a bit of color.  So I  added the little strips of color to each of the blocks and then finished the arrangement.  Better!  No matter which way I turned this piece, I liked the overall arrangement, but I ended up with this one.




Iris Swirl

I usually make free-cut circles that come out looking a lot like real circles, that is they are fairly regular and feature evenly spaced bands of fabric.  This time I decided to see what I would get if I made my cuts more linear.  A little more challenging to sew.  I used my hand-dyed and stenciled fabrics.  I like the drama of this one.

Iris Swirl


Iris Swirl DET2

Another detail:

Iris Swirl DET



OK, no need to be alarmed by this quilt, I just thought it looked like some kind of danger warning, perhaps?  It just turned out that way.  Hmmmm.

Anyway, I started it because I wanted to have a few new sample pieces to show the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild members how to do the free-cut circle technique to make blocks that can be in a variety of styles.  I’m doing a demonstration of the technique at our November meeting.  I started with just blue and black/white, however it was calling out for some red.  So I added the dots in the circle and then added some red in the border.   I like the look of circular quilting, so I did that stitching around the center circle block.   I’m almost finished with another quilt that looks entirely different.  You’ll see that one soon.


Detail, with my signature: K McGrath 2019.

Alarmed detail

Autumn Path

I recently did a quilt like this, with triangles and a diagonal arrangement, called Path to Nowhere.  I wanted to do one in muted, autumnal colors.  Here it is!  Quilted all over with a random up-down-over type of pattern.  I think it works for this piece.  Size about 51 x 51″.

Autumn Path


Autumn Path detail

Wilma’s Quilt

My friend Wilma liked one of my previous quilts, but she is a grayed tones kinda decorator.  So I made her a similar one, with commercial prints and some of my hand dyed fabric.  I think the browns add some depth and richness to the greys.   It’s about 24 x 24″.


Wilma's detail

Whole thing:


Point of View

OK, I occasionally get the urge to do something sorta traditional.  The colorful points around the center are “paper pieced”.  You start with a piece of paper that has the pattern printed on it.  Then sew the fabric right onto the paper, using tiny stitches so it’s easier to release the paper later.  Here is the paper pattern:

Paper pattern PoV

I got most of these cool fabrics recently at a new quilt store near my home.  Love to have those local quilt stores so handy!!  The white background pieces are from my “white on white” collection.  I think I used four different ones.  This piece is 24 X 24″ and stretched on a canvas frame.

Point of View


Point of View detail