Finished Playful Chill

I participated in the Quilt Shop Hop in April and purchased a lot of fabric I’ve used in recent quilts.  While I was out and about I was also looking for fabric for borders and backing for a few quilts.  One quilt I had in mind was Playful Chill.  I found the most AMAZING batik in a blue and green tie-dye style.  Oh, I love it!

40 x 45 inches, 100% cotton, and the backing is an AMAZING batik. All quilting was done by hand.

The size makes it great for wheelchair users. Not so large it’ll catch on something, but large enough to tuck in where necessary. It’s also a great size for a baby or toddler, and for a little extra warmth on your lap.

The quilting thread is a variegated teal, ranging from nearly white to really dark blue. You can see the quilting much better on the back.

It looks slightly warped due to where it’s hanging, over large blinds, but I didn’t have a different space to hang it that fit the size.

Price: $250 USD before shipping.

I won’t be listing this on Etsy due to the increase in the transaction fees (5%) and shipping fees (they’re taking 5% from shipping). If you’re interested in purchasing this contact me. I’ll send you a PayPal invoice.


Hidden Light

My grandfather died in April and it hit me hard.  It’s one of the reasons I went silent for awhile.  I’m no good at mourning (who is?) and just sort of hid for awhile.  At the same time I needed an outlet, a way to show how I feel and what I remember.

A contest on DeviantArt helped me with this.  The theme is “Hidden Light”.  It’s a collaboration between a visual artist and a writer.  I paired up with who wrote a beautiful poem based on my quilt and the description:


The technique is foundation paper piecing and provided the template/pattern with a tutorial you can see here:

Size: 24 x 24 inches
Technique: Foundation Paper Piecing
Quilting style: hand-quilting
Time: 83 hours (FPP is very time consuming)

I started this quilt shortly after my grandfather died. It was difficult to create this, both physically and emotionally, because I felt that emptiness as I made this. At the same time it helped fill that within me because I poured my memories here. My grandfather loved gardening and yard work, he fully supported my grandmother’s quilting and was thrilled when he learned I took up the family tradition, and he made summers so enjoyable for me when I was a child. I remember going for walks through the nearby woods and picking wild strawberries. I remember him telling me which flowers were poisonous and which ones we can eat. I remember him watering the flowers on the massive porch they (my grandfather and grandmother) have, the entire thing abloom with color all spring and summer. I remember so much and cherish those memories. His light is hidden from us now, but it shows up for a few moments here and there. I see this light when I go walking and pass the lilac bushes along the street, when I dance with my husband in the kitchen, when I bake chocolate treats, and when I visit the local lake because he took my sisters and me to the beach all during the summer when we visited him and my grandmother.

The colors I chose reflect these memories. They’re soft but not quite pastel, pops of bold colors coming through in the multi-color prints, the hint-of-a-print in what otherwise looks like solids (the pink has little flowers, the blue is a bit of a paisley).

This is my first time creating this quilt block, and I see all the errors. It was an incredible learning experience. Next time I use this block I’ll print the template to full size (it’s roughly 50% it’s original size here) and make a bit of an optical illusion with color choices. It won’t be anytime soon because I have other projects lined up. It’ll large and loud though! My favorite part is the appearance of round but made using gentle angles. If you’re interested in using the template I have a link at the top of the description to the blog I got it from.


Synesthesia Finished!

I finished the quilt some time ago, but alas I forgot to make mention of it here.  Honestly, I need to get better at keeping this blog updated.  Someone poke me if I go silent too long.


I’ve fallen in love the foundation paper piecing.  Such a tragedy, right?  Sure, it takes more time and patience but the results are so worth it.

Synesthesia: the production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body.

I have epilepsy. After I have a seizure I see sound as well as hear it. It can be overwhelming, both is beauty and horror. Every sound looks different, some combinations sound wonderful but look like something from a painter’s nightmare. I close my eyes and see as clearly as though my eyes were open. There’s no escaping the sounds for sometimes upwards of two weeks. It’s so difficult to capture sound in a painting or drawing because it moves as I work, changing as it flows around and through me. My favorite sounds are my cats’ purring, my husband when he laughs, small wind chimes in a gentle breeze, the sound of the keys as I type. All of these produce such unique patterns around me and have even brought me to tears.

For this I wanted to create the geometrical pattern of typing while listening to one of my favorite songs. The cello creates this deepest black, something as though cursed and blessed, with soft blips of color from the keys. The violins flow in with light and waves, coincided with the speed of my typing, and the percussion shapes it all into perfection visible only to me.

Sharing this, what I see, is a challenge. I haven’t had a severe seizure in months, but the images are still sharp in my mind. I searched for a quilt pattern but gave up because nothing was right. Then I found it.

This was created using a foundation paper piecing pattern I found entirely by a stroke of luck. To make this I sewed the fabric to paper in a specific order, trimmed as necessary, and arranged the pieces to create the blocks. I’ve had the fabrics for months, just waiting for their moment, and here it is. I did the quilting by hand using a rainbow variegated thread, and kept the quilting as more of a background noise, enough to support the whole without taking away from the resulting image.

Made entirely with cotton fabric, cotton batting, and cotton thread.

This measures 32.5 inches x 32.5 inches / 82.5 cm x 82.5 cm.

The small size makes it ideal for a crib or baby quilt, but also suitable for a pet, home decor to hang on your wall or drape over a table, or even use it as a lap quilt for a child or yourself. It’s lightweight, but will also keep you warm when things get a bit chilly.

Here are some detail shots!

As always I did the quilting by hand.  There’s something very therapeutic about hand-quilting.  I get lost in a little world with heavy focus on what I’m doing.  When finish I feel so much lighter.

This is currently available on Etsy:

Price: $250 USD

If you’re interested in purchasing this but don’t want to go through Etsy please contact me.  I’ll send you a PayPal invoice complete with the shipping cost.

So Many Quilt Tops!

I love making quilts, which ought to be fairly obvious at this point.  Making quilt top after quilt top after quilt top is wonderful.  I later have a lot of options to choose from for the actual quilting process.  Anyone else just build up an inventory of quilt tops?

Currently they’re hanging in my closet on plastic hangers to prevent heavy folds or discoloration.  I also have finished quilts hanging up on heavy-duty hangers for the very same reason.

Mermaid’s Treasure is my first log cabin quilt.  I love it!  I took three fabric rolls of purple/pink and two fabric rolls of teal/green/blue from Joann Fabrics to finish this.  It’s 80×80 inches.  I’ve decided not to add borders because I feel they’d take away from the overall glory of the colors.  That shiny white bit?  It’s metallic silver and very shiny when the light hits it.  Unfortunately I cannot finish it due to not having the funds to purchase the necessary amount of fabric.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens!  I love Star Wars and purchased the fabric months ago.  Only recently did I find a pattern I wanted to use for it.  The original pattern called for a thin border and would result in a lap quilt size.  One border wasn’t enough.  Four borders worked out wonderfully…and resulted in a 68×78 inch quilt.  As stated above I don’t have the money to purchase backing.  In to the closet it goes!

I’m working on another quilt with batiks from Joann Fabrics as well as Hoffman Fabrics.  It’ll be 51×51 inches when done.  The pattern is very simple, and I can easily have it finished in just a week.  Or, at least, have the quilt top finished.  I don’t have fabric for the backing.

At least when I do have money I’ll be able to pick and choose which quilt to finish first.

Synesthesia Quilt

I have epilepsy.  I’ve had epilepsy since I was 11 years old and it’s genetic.  Both my sisters have epilepsy as do other members of my family.  Among my sisters I have the most severe case.  It’s one of the reasons I’m permanent disabled.  I’m not resentful about it.  It’s just a part of life.  I honestly cannot imagine life without epilepsy I’ve lived with it for so long.  FYI I’m turning 35 in June.

On DeviantArt there’s a contest one of the members is holding.  All visual arts are accepted, be they crafts, cosplay, drawings, etc.  It just needs to be visual.  The theme is to take a word and create a visual depiction of it.  The title is the word, and the viewer must be able to see a clear image of said word.  We can choose whatever word we want, put the definition in the description of the work, and why we chose it.  In my case it’s “Synesthesia”.

After I have a tonic-clonic seizure (the link is to a video of me having a seizure; it may be considered graphic but I’m providing the information to give you an idea of what my seizures are like) I experience synesthesia for several days (or even a couple weeks) afterwards.  What’s synesthesia?

From Wikipedia: Synesthesia is a perceptual phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.  Full information can be read here.

In my case I see sound.  It can be overwhelming, especially considering it’s not something I was born with and only experience every once-in-awhile due to my seizures messing with my senses.  I hear and see sound for several days or even over a week.  Colors, shapes, patterns, they fill the room.  When I close my eyes I still see them.  Earplugs are my friend for the duration of the experience.  My favorite sound is my cat Cacoa purring.  It’s a soft brown triangle with waves of green moving in circles, the green being prominent when she inhales and fading as she exhales.  My other favorite sound is classical music with a prominent cello.  That’s a sound I can’t even describe.

For this quilt I’m using foundation paper piecing.  The pattern is from McCall’s Quilting and called Beacon Lights.  It’s a free pattern.  I’m not following it, just using the FPP block provided.  I used a tutorial provided by Teresa Down Under.  She has AMAZING tutorials; please go check out her blog.  FPP was really intimidating, even daunting, until I saw what she did with the Storm At Sea quilt block.  SO MUCH EASIER NOW!!!

The quilting will be done by hand, but I’ll do it in such a way that it doesn’t take away from the overall appearance.  I want the quilting to be background noise instead of being prominent.  The finished quilt will be three rows of three blocks.  It’s not large, and can work as table decoration, a wall hanging, or even a baby quilt.  I’ll have it listed on Etsy when it’s done.

I have videos of the WIP as well!  You can see them on my YouTube channel here.

I finally caved in and got a Smartphone via Credo in December.  Now I can make video and take pictures more easily and frequently.  My Instagram is WAY more active than my WordPress page, but I’m doing my best to remember to come by here and make a post more than once every six months.  My Instagram handle is ReneetheChaosfay.

FYI the featured image at the top of this post is a pincushion my mother made.  It’s an adorable penguin I’ve named Caesar.  If you know the story of Julius Caesar I think you’ll get a good giggle out of this.


My Mother’s Quilt

I love making quilts for people, but alas it’s not something I can easily afford.  I need to sell my work in order to make some money, right?

Thankfully I can make an exception every once in a while.  This time it’s for my mother (I’ll never make her pay for anything I make).  I recently finished an early Mother’s Day/Birthday gift for her.  Both days are within the same week so hey, two birds with one stone!  It’s a string piece quilt!  My mother’s favorite type of quilts are scrap.  She doesn’t keep scraps because she uses the quilt top scraps to make the backing of the same quilts, resulting in a two-sided quilt made with the same fabrics.  It’s really cool to see!


I have about three years worth of scraps.  Anything more than 1.5 inches square is a scrap I keep.  I had a lot of strips to work with (and still do!).

What I did was cut cheap printer paper to 8.5 inches square and sewed random strips to each sheet diagonally.  I made I think…56 six blocks.  Honestly, I have no idea.  I just made a lot in order to make a large lap quilt.  After sewing the blocks together I removed the paper.  It was a hassle but totally worth it because there was less arguing with corners meeting.  Then I added a white border.  The backing was made with larger scraps and remnants as well as the extra blocks I had made but got tired of adding to the top.  The result is a double sided quilt top!  She hates the binding but whatever.  I love the fabric and it’s binding leftover from a different quilt.  Waste not, want not.

I did a simple design for the handquilting, just a simple X across every block and then framing the entire center.  The thread I used is 100% cotton variegated rainbow from Sulky.  I’m not a fan of the thread simply because it kept breaking.  I don’t know WHY it was doing thing considering all the praise I hear.  Maybe it’s best to use for machine quilting?  I just had to be very gentle with it.  I won’t be tossing the thread out; that stuff is EXPENSIVE!  It’s just be used with a lighter touch.

All my gift quilts get a message stitched in if there’s enough space.  For my mom it’s I LOVE U.

I sent it last week because she’ll be going on a quilters’ cruise in May.  It arrived three days after sending it and SHE LOVES IT!  She can’t decide which side is her favorite.  I call that a win!

So many scraps…

I love scrap quilts.

When I was growing up my mother made a lot of scrap quilts.  I told her that I want one for graduation.  It took her four years to make it, I helped with the hand-quilting, and on graduation day the quilt was mine.  I was 18.  The quilt was “retired” over a decade later due to a lot of love.  It needs patching, but all the wear and tear will result in the patch looking very…wrong.  Currently I’m on a the lookout for a sealed quilt display case.  It doesn’t need to be large, but it does need to be sealed against dust, cats, spiders, moths, and other critters.  I want to show off the beautiful quilt that means so much to more to me than I can’t possibly put into words.  Right now it’s in a vacuum-sealed bag to keep it safe.

My love for scrap quilts is never-ending.  I’ve kept as many scraps as I think I can work with since I took up quilting three years ago.  My sister recently sent me all of hers.  I now have enough to make a lap quilt!  It’s strips because I have more of those than I do anything else.

For my new project I’m making a strip square quilt.  I cut a bunch of standard computer paper to 8.5″ x 8.5″ and am sewing diagonally across them with the strips, trimming the excess off afterwards.  Today I finished the first row.  Originally it was going to be 8 rows of 8 squares, but I’ve opted for 7 x 7 instead.

Thanks to Teresa Down Under for helping me figure out how to do this.  I had tried this before, but the blocks were so…flimsy and busy that I couldn’t get the blocks to meet at the corners.  It was a mess!  I watched a few of her tutorials and decided sewing to paper would save me a headache.  IT HAS!!!

What I’ve done is sew the blocks to paper, arranged the blocks to create a chevron effect, then sew them to each other one at a time, removing the paper from one block AFTER they’re sewn together, then repeating this to the last block.  All paper removed, all blocks pressed in one direction.  I don’t want to press the seams open but instead will nest the seams instead.  This will make lining everything up much easier!

Go check out her videos.  100% recommend!

After I finish this quilt top I have a few others lined up.  By a few I mean around half a dozen-ish.  I don’t have the funds to purchase any fabric right now, which means going through my stash to make a bunch of quilt tops.  After this quilt I think I’ll make a log cabin quilt.  I have others planned, but I just want to make some quick-and-easy tops for now.  Something to kill time while I wait for my Etsy inventory to be purchase.  Most of the quilts will be baby to lap size, but there are a couple larger ones as well.

I’ll take photographs when I finish the quilt tops.  This one will take only a few days to finish and already has a name: “Whimsy Sticks”.

Ideally I want to finish at least three more quilt tops before shopping for backing.  I have backing for my skeleton quilt, but that’s a personal project and 100% going to be mine.  What I need to focus on is making things I can sell.  “Cool Chill”, a baby quilt top I started and finished in a day, is hanging in my closet with the binding fabric of choice.  I’ll have at least five quilt tops done before I purchase more fabric.

Do any of you create a bunch of quilt tops before choosing which to make into a finished quilt?  Do you keep your scraps and make things with them later, give them away, or toss them out in the trash?  Do you enjoy scrap quilts at all?