Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Blues Shoo-Flies Quilt

Finished long arm quilting - taking quilt off the frame

I long arm quilt right to left.  So, here's the start . . .

I used four similar blue print fabrics, and four similar light fabrics to build blocks for the quilt.

The four corner units for the block are called "Shaded 4 Patch" created by Sally Schneider. 

I was bent on learning how to make this unit, even though I didn't know what it was called.

The  shaded 4 patch is so versatile, and helped me make this lovely blue quilt, an updated version of a Shoo-Fly block. 

Research paid off, when I found Sally Schneider's Shaded 4 Patch, and her incredible books--books that belong in every quilter's library.    Each book is loaded with photos, instructions, and ideas for some awesome scrappy quilts. 

I bought three of Ms. Schneider's books:

Scrapmania, More Quick-Pieced Scrap Quilts

Triangle Tricks: One Easy Unit, Dozens of Gorgeous Quilts

Scrap Frenzy: All New Quick-Pieced Scrap Quilts

Usually, I'm a scrappy happy quilt maker.  And any other time I'd be making good use of my ever growing scrappy fabric stash. 

But I can always use another blue quilt for the North Bedroom upstairs in our old Victorian.  Here are a couple of photos of the North Bedroom upstairs, with the sleigh bed dressed in another quilt I made.

The North Bedroom Upstairs with its three street facing windows.

It is difficult to see, but the drapes and walls are a dark pewter blue.  Decisions for wall colors for all the bedrooms were based on 3 things:  how much material is on the bolt, is it on sale?, and if I really like it."  All 3 of these needs were met, with one exception.

The drapery fabric stiffness . . .

It took yards and yards of fabric and piping to make the cinnamon bun tie backs, but well worth it.

The tiebacks were a last minute change . . . I confess.

The fabric and piping was made for the hem, 

but the drapery fabric being so stiff--it wouldn't puddle nicely.  So I abandoned the idea of fabric piping for the hem, and instead made cinnamon bun handstitched tie backs.  It was the best use of all that fabric piping.

The 1/2" piping in the hem of the Mossy Green drapery fabric for the master bedroom had worked out so well--it worked like magic.  It's a little theatre trick my sister Pam designed.  She sewed the drapes for me during a week long visit.  She's a theatre costumer on the east coast. 

Pam added 4 inches to the hem to make the perfect puddle using 1/2" cotton piping at the hem. 

Here's Pam's Trick:
If you pick up the drapery panel, and pull it back slightly (like the train on a wedding dress), then let go of the panel and allow it to fall back into position, it makes a perfect puddle. 

Pam did a beautiful job sewing these Mossy Green drapes for the master bedroom. Satisfied my request for something Victorian looking with tassels and fringe valance.

With leftover fabric and fringe I made a matching lampshade. 

Note:  later on, we repainted all the floors upstairs a dark expresso color, to update the scuffed butterscotch paint color that had been on the floor for decades.  And in the fall of 2014 Jon added crown molding to each room upstairs. 


Back to my story about building the Blues Shoo-Flies Quilt

I was half way through long arm quilting the Blues Shoo-Flies Quit, when I saw it . . .

One of the blocks was pieced wonky. 

I can't believe I didn't see this until now.

I can't sell a wonky quilt.  But I could use it in the spare North Bedroom upstairs and close the door. 

Lately I've had a bit of bad luck regarding my quilts.  Our puppy Buddy chewed holes in three bed quilts, one bathroom rug, and destroyed two pairs of sandals so far. 


This wonky block had me scratching my head--what to do.

At one point I decided I'd have to rename the quilt.  Here are some names I thought about

I've Got the Blues Quilt

A Likely Excuse Quilt

I Can Explain This After a Few Beers Quilt

Crystal Blue Delusion Quilt

Try Looking at it Upside Down Quilt

For Beds Facing A Wall Quilt

It's a Bird--It's a Plane--No, But You're Close Quilt


With nothing to lose, I decided to repair the block without removing it from the long arm frame.

Risky business.  Never tried this before.

I flipped the quilt top, up and over the frame to get to the wonky block's seams.  Took out the seams, and turned the offending piece around to the correct position.

Pinned the seams one seam at a time;  hand stitched each seam twice over.

This is the repaired block, quilted. 

View of quilted row including the repaired block

Thanks for Stopping By my Blog.  Leave me a note if you can.  I love hearing from you.


I will be selling my queen size quilts, baby quilts, and fancy purses in September at:

Bear Lake Campground and Resort
Manawa, WI
Annual Corn Roast and Craft Fair
Sunday, September 3, 2017
10am until 4pm


Art in the Park
Pfiffner Pioneer Park
Riverfront, Downtown Stevens Point, WI
Saturday September 16, 2017
10am until 4pm

I'll be handing out flyers at those events, about our
Annual Halloween Weekend Victorian House Tour and Craft Show
255 Mill St. - Scandinavia, WI  54977
Sat/Sun October 28-29, 2017
$2 admission at the door goes directly to The Humane Society of Waupaca County


  1. Hello Linda, Restorations are so much more meaningful and personal when your own work is incorporated. Your handiwork has made a living thing out of the restoration of your own house--always changing and improving things with your creativity.

    Since I buy lots of books I often see books on quilting, but I have no way of knowing which ones are rare or desirable, so I leave them for more knowledgeable people.

  2. Hi Jim,
    Thank you for the great compliment. Your words are received in a heartfelt way, and appreciated. I buy a number of quilt books each year to learn shortcuts for cutting and fast production chain sewing. These modern techniques improve accuracy, but offer so much more. Often I say out loud, "oh my, grandma would have really loved these new techniques." Many blocks begin with very simple cutting and sewing, and then by cutting them again, and sewing a second time--look complicated when they really aren't. They are like card tricks, and can fool the eye. That's what fascinates me, (entertains me). New strategies--that appeals to me.


    Speaking of strategies, tell me Jim, among your collections, do you collect board games? Which ones do you like the best, and why?