The Edge of Paradise

Hello everyone.  For today’s photo challenge, I’m taking it back to quilting.  The assignment, “to capture an edge”.  Of course to me… I think of the edge of a quilt, the binding.

This quilt has 4 different treatments to the binding, but today, I’m going to give you a detail shot of the flowers, accented by the edge treatment between the center and the border.  I really love color, and the combinations in this quilt are perfect.

bird of paradise quilt wp_1024I paper-pieced this beautiful quilt nearly 10 years ago.  Bird-of-Paradise blooms are one of my favorite flowers, and I just love this design.

Have you tried paper piecing before?  It is time consuming, but the results are such perfect, sharp points.  I’ve learned a few different methods over the years.  If you are curious, a link to a paper piecing tutorial can be found here.  This is the way, I do it nowadays.

Happy Quilting,

Fellow Quilter,



This my dear reader — Is BLISS!

Hello everyone.

Today I’m blogging about “Bliss”.  As you know, my primary creative outlet is quiltmaking.  I love sharing my inspiration, and progress with you.  By posting these entries, I hope that you find ideas that move you to be more creative.

Although, I post a lot about quilts and quilting, I also dabble in many other arts.  Of course photography is a great hobby, and I think I’m getting better and better.  The daily photo blog group this month is pushing me to new ideas.  I also play around with scrapbooking supplies once in a while, and have a neat stash of paper, stamps, punches and embellishments tucked away in my studio drawers.

But… quilting is my passion.  I love looking at new books and magazines, and I have had many terrific shopping excursions.  Oh boy, have I shopped.  My fabric drawers have been so full, that they could no longer contain my fabric stash.

I decided earlier this fall to create some wonderful scrap quilts to utilize some of my stash.  I’m making four bed-size quilts to be gifted to some wonderful people in my life.  I don’t want to name names, since it will be a surprise.

I cut up about 80 yards of fabric into 2.5″ strips, of all colors and patterns.  This will yield 400 blocks, or enough for 4 king-size quilt tops.  Now, all of my fabric stash in nicely contained in my drawers.  I can walk around the studio, and I’ve got space on my cutting table to spread out and work.

I’ve sewn and sewn… and I now have 80 blocks completed.  That’s 20% of the total.  The process to me is full of bliss.  I listen to music or watch shows on my DVR.  Well, actually, I’m “listening” to shows.  My TV is behind me, so I don’t really see the screen.

So, I bet you’re wondering what these quilts will look like.  Of course they are scrappy, so no two are alike, but here is a link to the free pattern from Bonnie K. Hunter.  There you will also find a treasure trove of quilting inspiration.  Go have a look for yourself.

The music I tend to listen to is all different types.  We have a wonderful concert series in Wray, at a place called the Listening Room at 4th & Main.  Just last night was a superb concert by Rita Hosking.  Here is a sample of her music. 

A quick snapshot of my first 80 blocks.  There are 320 more to come.  It's a wonderful project to just get your hands on the fabric.
A quick snapshot of my first 80 blocks. There are 320 more to come. It’s a wonderful project to just get your hands on the fabric.

My photo today is a quick shot of the 80 blocks completed so far.  I figure it will take me at least 40 more blissful hours to complete the rest…  Oh happy me!

Have a great day,

Fellow Quilter,


Sweetwater Label Crew

Today, I thought I’d do some piecing… so I pulled out the May packet from my friends at Sweetwater.  They do this cool mailing each month called the “Label Crew” and I recently signed up to try it out.  You can read about the label crew, or sign up at or just check out their blog at for some really neat inspiration.

ImageI’ve known Karla for many years, since she first came to Quilts of the Plains back in the late 1990’s.  At that time she had a fabric line called “Farmyard Creations”, and it was pretty cool…. however, I am in love with the colors and prints that this talented trio keeps coming up with.  I get to quilt quite a few of their samples, so when you see one of their patterns in your local quilt shop… it’s a good chance that you’re seeing some of my handiwork.

Anyway, back to the point of this post.  The label crew packet had a pattern for a cool tablerunner made out of large triangles.  You could use a layer-cake of fabric if you want, because you cut them from 9″ squares.  I cut my squares, and then cut the triangles from them.  I had all these other triangles left over… so I decided to sew them together into a long border like strip.  I think it will be a great little runner to decorate with.  It would also make a really cute valance in my quilt studio, too!


I almost forgot to mention that each month’s label crew mailing comes with the pattern and a coordinating iron on label.  I just don’t know if I’ll use it on the original tablerunner, or use it on my new creation from the left-overs….  I guess you’ll have to wait and see.


I thought I’d share this idea… maybe you’re in the “Label Crew” too, or just doing some cutting, and having some shapes left over.  Maybe this will inspire you to see what you can come up with.  If you have a good story about using left-overs in a quilt project… Why don’t you leave me a comment…

Have a fun day, and be creative,

Fellow Quilter,

Brian Clements

What I’m Working On Today

This quilt belongs to Melanie, a member of the Carousel Quilt Guild in Burlington, Colorado. It was a class taught by Junelle Hills from the Quilt Cabin in Colby, Kansas called the Jelly Roll Race Quilt.

Today, I’m getting a break from my duties at Foltmer Drug and RadioShack, so that I can pursue some quilting for my upcoming customers.  WOO HOO!  This quilt is awesome.  I love the colors, and it’s made entirely of batik fabrics.  The quilt is called the Jelly Roll Race Quilt.

I found a tutorial video on you-tube here

I met with Melanie when she dropped off her quilt top, and we looked at several designs, ultimately deciding upon a gorgeous oak leaves design by Anne Bright.  I love using her designs, because they stitch out so beautifully on my Statler Stitcher, Artie…

Anne Brights designs are online here

Because of the beatiful oak leaves and acorns design, and the colors of the batik fabrics, a King Tut variegated thread was chosen to complement the quilt.

Superior Threads has a website at and many sewing and quilting shops carry their thread.  I subscribe to their monthly newsletter for the great thread education, but also for the joke of the month… which is always super funny, and a joke that I can tell at work.

The design is called “Old Oakky” by Anne Bright

Here is a closeup of the quilting design.  You can see the beauty of the batiks, and the richness of the pattern and color.  I chose to use a black batting, since there are no areas of white in the quilt.  That way, if the batting ever beards out after washing, it will be less noticeable.  Maybe you’re not yet familiar with that term.  Bearding is the term to describe when little fibers of batting escape from inside the quilt, usually through the needle holes made while quilting, or through a seam that has been pressed open.  They can be a bother, and can take away from the beauty of your quilt.

Beards on “Fellow Quilter” = Good

Beards on your quilt = Bad

The other tip for this day is to realize that batiks are much tighter woven than your traditional cotton fabrics, say from Moda or Benartex, etc.  As a result, if you have to rip out stitches, there will still be holes where the needle sewed the fabric.  If you rip out on a batik, you should try your best to resew exactly over the same stitching line to hide those holes.  Just a little thing, but it’s the little things that set your quilt apart.  Thanks for reading!

Fellow Quilter,

Brian Clements