Riley Blake Challenge – Finish

The Modern Quilt Guild is hosting a Riley Blake Challenge using the Cottage Garden fabric line. You can see my first post here.

I quickly worked through my flying geese and paper-pieced 4-point stars. At this point, I had thought these 4 empty squares would be the yellow background. But I had enough fabric leftover that I decided to piece square-in-a-square blocks.

Riley Blake MQG Challenge, by Jenn Rodriguez

Sewing the rows together.

Riley Blake MQG Challenge, by Jenn Rodriguez

Then I had to decide how I was going to finish the quilt. This was one of my options.

Riley Blake MQG Challenge, by Jenn Rodriguez

Obviously, I didn’t have enough fabric. But with my scraps I came up with this version.

MQG Riley Blake Challenge 2015, by Jenn Rodriguez

And I love it! Those little triangles so cute?!

For the back I included the rest of my leftovers and raided my stash for golden yellows. It was a fun improv back.

MQG Riley Blake Challenge 2015, by Jenn Rodriguez

As I was completing this quilt, I thought it might be a great beginner’s quilt. A variety of blocks, using classic quilting shapes. It looks good on-point or as a regular grid layout. This size (46″x46″) sewed up fairly quickly, but it would be easy to enlarge it. Maybe another project – write up a pattern for it.



Y-seams: tackling a challenging technique

One of my quilts in progress is “While the Cat’s Away” by Wendy Williams. I’m participating in the Block of the Month (BOM) program through Material Obsession, a quilt store in Australia.

This is my current technique-building project – lots of felt applique! Month 7 features a block full of y-seams. The first time I attempted y-seams I was not at all pleased with the finished project – it didn’t lie flat and I wasn’t too sure if the seams would hold-up. So I was a bit intimidated when I saw this block. And then really started to panic when I realized I had to make 8  of them.

So, after I got over my avoidance and through my plotting of alternative piecing methods, I sat down and read the instructions. Lots of deep-breathing followed. I rationalized that the author would not include a radically hard technique, at least not without slowly leading up to it. With my mantra of “I can do this” running through my head, I slowly worked my way through the first block. And guess what? It turned out pretty good.

While the Cat's Away, Month 7 block. Pattern by Wendy Williams.

So I kept on, sewing just one block at a time, taking a break in between.

And there’s the key to learning new techniques:

  1. Read the directions…a couple of times
  2. Go slow
  3. Take enough breaks so you don’t get frustrated

I also think it’s good to remember; if it doesn’t work the first time, try it again, but use a different method. If you were following a paper pattern, try a video or an in-person class.

Now to finish these babies off before my next blocks arrive.


May QDAD Round-up

My two favorite Quilt Design a Day (QDAD) designs from May:

When I designed this, I could see it as a pillow or wall-hanging.

Deconstructed Robot Man, designed by Jenn Rodriguez at Red Patch

Deconstructed Robot Man, 11 May QDAD design

When simplicity works. What really made this feel polished is “weaving” the thin, vertical lines.

Line Up, designed by Jenn Rodriguez at Red Patch

Line Up, 20 May QDAD design

My two least successful designs from May:

I like the idea of improve rectangles and squares pieced together; however I think the layout needs some work.

Abstracted Tulip, designed by Jenn Rodriguez at Red Patch

Abstracted Tulip, 8 May QDAD design

The spark image was of Legos. This is what Lego men look like in our household. It was fun to play, but this design is not quite as polished as I like.

Lego Man, designed by Jenn Rodriguez at Red Patch

Lego Man, 19 May QDAD design

Inspiration in the Everyday

Taking photos from my everyday life and finding design inspiration in them. Inspired by my participation in the Quilt Design A Day (QDAD)  group on Facebook.

May’s inspiration is our usual sidewalk.


My first design is a study of perspective. I began with vertical lines growing smaller towards the center. Then I duplicated and rotated this set of lines 90 degrees to make a lovely crosshatch.

Perspective study 1, design by Jenn Rodriguez

 The second design is inspired by the line of lampposts. Once again I started with the vertical, then duplicated and rotated the set 90 degrees. When a design is not quite right, this is my favorite method to play with my idea.

Inspired by the lampposts, design by Jenn Rodriguez

The third design is another study of perspective.

Perspective study 2, design by Jenn Rodriguez