Sunday, August 2, 2020

Tony Ray

I have a new finish - Tony Ray.

A new finish!!!

The purpose was to utilize 4-patch blocks and make a Mercyful Quilt.
The inspiration is Anthony Ray Hinton.

Fabric Pull

Star Legs

The framework

One by One

Building up
Anthony Ray Hinton spent almost 30 years of his life on death row for a crime that he did not commit. After his release, he was asked in an interview - "I don't sense any bitterness. Why is that?" Anthony Ray Hinton replied, "Bitterness kills the soul. They took away my thirties, my forties and my fifties but they cannot take away my joy."

And so it comes together...

Finished Flimsy

The bright interlocking stars are a nod to Anthony Ray Hinton's joy that his thirty gray years behind bars could not diminish. I chose the name Tony Ray to signify the indomitable spirit of a man who was condemned but who refused to be bitter.


Finished 64" by 80"
Pieced Backing

Bryan Stevenson is the lawyer whose relentless efforts over several years led to Anthony Ray Hinton's exoneration. Bryan Stevenson's book "Just Mercy - A Story of Justice and Redemption" won the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction and the 2015 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Nonfiction. The book was adapted into a movie starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx.

Starry Star

Blue & Yellow

One Gray - Many Blues

Contrast is Everything


Tony Ray is headed west to Bernie as a Mercyful Quilt.  The quilt measures about 64" by 80".

Although the Supreme Court unanimously overturned Hinton's conviction in 2015, the state of Alabama has yet to honor his claim of compensation. The fact that the US justice system failed Anthony Ray Hinton and continues to do so is a stark reminder that much work needs to be done for racial justice in America.


Red Hot Binding

Bryan Stevenson is dedicated to fighting racial injustice through his Equal Justice Initiative.
Sharing Anthony Ray Hinton's story and dedicating a Mercyful Quilt in his name is my way of supporting their work.

The picture below shows the Reston Town Center. This used to be crowded pre-Covid and now it is the perfect spot for quilt photshoots.  So I took a few more pictures of Tony Ray, the quilt.
The popsicle cutouts hanging from above matched perfectly with the blues and yellows in the quilt.

Covid Times

So Inviting

Add a book and a drink for bliss

A perfect spot

Paul: That blue chair is the perfect place to drape that quilt...
Me: I am thrilled that I did not have to jostle with a 100 people to take pictures.
Paul: The upside of Covid, I guess.
Me: Will you be my quilt model?
Paul: Sure
Me: I just need one vertical picture of the quilt.
Paul: Where do you want me to stand?
Me: In the middle of the road
Paul: With my back to the traffic???
Me: Just for a minute.

You may think I am obsessed with matching the colors of the quilt with the surrounding objects. Dunno. I try. Sometimes I get lucky :-)

It is just coincidence that the gray background of the quilt is echoed in the asphalt of the road and the red fire hydrant stands ready to douse the red hot binding.

Cloudy Skies - Fiery Binding

And one last I say goodbye

The gray fabric (which I absolutely love) came from Connecting Threads.  I used it as a backing for Eric's Quilt. The remainder was used in Tony Ray.  Don't worry, I have already replenished my stash. I had to.

If you wish to make this quilt, please use the Neel Quilt Tutorial.

I am linking with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar.
As usual I look forward to your thoughts.


Angela announced the RSC color for August - Purple.

Here are my fabric picks for Picket Star Quilt Blocks.

Purples for August 2020

 Be safe and stay cool.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Eggs and Bacon

Happy to be Scrappy

Me: Good morning
Paul (groan)
Me: Would you like some breakfast?
Paul: Do we have bacon?
Me: I don't think so.
Paul (Bigger Groan + A Whine)
Me: I can make you an egg sandwich.
Paul: Without bacon??? Why did you wake me up anyway?

How to put these together?

The smaller block needs help

Black floral + orange/yellow stripe is better than just the stripe

Matched size = Success

And so it grows!!!

Eggs without bacon is an least in Paul's opinion.
So when this cute pig ended up next to the eggs sunny side up...I decided to name the quilt - Eggs and Bacon.

Eggs and Bacon

Little did I know that the name would be prophetic...

Making a scrap vortex quilt is not a sprint. It is a marathon.  I work on it between other projects. Make a few slabs and set aside.  Every time I enjoy the memories associated with scrap fabrics from previous quilts and fabric scraps gleefully received from friends.

Color is Joy
The sleeping moon face, the ladybird and the blue sharks came from Bernie.

Can you find the two sheep?
The two tiny sheep fabric was leftover from the Garden Party backing.

Can you see the rippling?

The pink fabric with scissors and notions came from Julia and the pink-orange mini floral came from Mell.

Fussy Cut Bears :-)
 The birds on the left came from Mari.

Happy Memories
The polar bear with a scarf (Flurry by Ruby Star Society) reminds me of Quiltcon 2020 in Austin.  I scored some gorgeous fabric scraps when Ruby Star Society dismantled their booth and invited quilters to take the display fabrics. Instantly there were a dozen women rummaging through boxes of yet unreleased fabric lines.  The fabric scraps were like candy and I was like a kid on Trick & Treat spree on Halloween.

Scraps from Guild's Free Table

The cat and dog at a barbecue fabric is so  much fun. Thank you Julia.

Grey Raccoons and Multicolor Cats

The pink fish and multicolor cats came from Bernie.


Look what the wicked witch did - she made the cat turn blue :-D  You can always tell your own stories. The spinning of yarn continues even after all threads are buried :-D

Scrappy goodness
 The fruit slices were a gift from Mari and the dancing stick figures came from Sylvia.

Splash of Color

The fabric with peachy berries came from Cathy. The orange blob fabric is left over from the border for Rainy Day. The crabs are leftover from the backing of Animal House.

Cat and Crayons
The bright flip-flops and the smiling zoo animals came from Julia, I think.  Sometime I forget how I acquired certain scraps :-)

Let's talk about wool batting. No scratch that. Let me whine about wool batting.
I want to use wool batting for two major reasons
1. It is light, much lighter than cotton and cotton/blend battings.
2. It does not crease.

It has higher loft which can be good news for those of us who want better quilting definition.
It also makes for puffier quilts. No one told me that it creates a whole new problem.

The puffiness comes from multiple layers loosely held. These layers slide over each other during quilting. This is not a problem that can be fixed by basting or pinning.
Because it is not about how the batting sticks to the quilt top or to the backing. It is the fact that the batting is internally not sticking to itself.  I noticed the tucks when I made Eric's quilt.

A few suggestions to decrease that effect included
a. Increase stitch length - DONE
b. Decrease the pressure of the presser foot - DONE
c. Don't quilt too close - OK

Also it is best if the quilting lines do not cross each other. In other words, do not quilt a grid.
Rob Appell of Mansewing in his Quilt Batting Boot Camp (How to Quilt with Different Types of Batting) suggested to quilt from he center out to avoid tucks. In general we do that but I treated it like gospel.

I quilted a spiral. And it went swimmingly well.

Spiral Quilting

Backing Fabric


I had done it. It was awesome and then I tried to square it.


Red Backing, Green Binding

The quilt was warped with wavy edges. It lives up to its name - the bacon bit!!!
Bacon with ripples is sexy (ask Paul).  In a quilt - ripples are undesirable.

I choose Joy

Happily Yours

No. But wait. Quilts of Gee's Bend are rippled and un-squarish.
So I am not going to dwell upon the waves and ripples.

No, it will not win any award.
But it is bright and cheerful and will be perfect for some toddler's tummy time.  Here are a few more pictures cause you can never have enough eggs and bacon (according to Paul).

And here is a plate of Eggs and Bacon for my quilt model/photographer - a salty reward for my sweet man!!!
Eggs and Bacon for Paul

So I have soured on wool batting. I started with such lofty hopes (pun intended).

I am exploring the batting made from recycled water bottles at this time, while I ponder what to do with 30 (minus 3) yards of wool batting on a roll.

If you have any other ideas about wool batting (with the exception of hand quilting) please let me know.

I have completed my dark blue blocks for July. Here they are.

Fussy Cutting :-)

RSC 2020 Project#2

Cacti & Sparkles

Not so Dark Blue

Bright & Dark

Alphabet Soup & Midnight Sky

Picket Star Quilt Blocks for July 2020

Linking with Angela's Linky Party and all my other favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar.
How do you reward (or bribe) your quilt models? I'd love to hear from you :-)