Saturday, May 14, 2011

B&W Revisited, Circles and Stems.

Today I thought I'd share an older quilt.  This is a challenge quilt that I made with my Wednesday group, the Needlers' years ago.

About 20 of us exchanged squares of Black and White fabrics.  I decided to do a modern twist on a traditional block, Whig Rose, and here is the result.

I approached this challenge by first separting the fabric into these categories; mostly black, mostly white and 50/50.  I used the mostly white for the background of the center block.

I used the mostly black for the stems and leaves.  

I used the 50/50 pieces to make these hourglass blocks for the border.

Here you can see some of the machine quilting I did on this one.  I have many little sparrows on this quilt.  I add the sparrow to almost every quilt I make and I'll have to share the story with you someday.

Jill surprised me Monday night with this super cute new tote bag!  I love it!  The tape measure handles are my favorite part.  Thanks Jill and Joann fabrics, I needed this!

And now a few words about stems.  I was recently asked me how I applique' my skinny stems.  Well, first I prepare them with the Clover 1/4" bias maker.  But I think the real trick is in the prep.  Isn't always?

I pin baste the stems into the placement I want.

Then I re-pin them horizontally with very fine pins.   Then I machine sew baste them down, using a baste stitch.  I'm sorry, I forgot to photograph this part (too anxious to start sewing :)

Happiness is appliqueing the stems without the pins.  Here they are finished.  I can not share the rest of this piece because it is a challenge for my Brownstone guild's upcoming  quilt show in November.

And lastly, but certainly not leastly, The Garden State Quilters are having their bi-annual quilt show a week from Saturday!!
Click here for all the information.  I hope you can come!


  1. the quilt is beautiful - my favorite bit are the birds. ooh, very clever way to do the stems.

  2. Barb, your quilt is stunning!

  3. Love the quilt, you make wonderful quilts with a twist, I love the way you put fabrics together.

    Have fun at the show.


  4. I love your B/W quilt and the sparrow too! Not that I'm fond of sparrows but I like birds.

    About the quilt in your header - did you make it? Froncie Quinn just spoke at our quilt guild had brought this Calico Garden quilt to share with us. I like it but I'm wondering about all that small applique!

  5. I love this quilt!! It was interesting to see how you tackled this quilt. It would be hard working with two color fabrics.


  6. I love your quilt! Awesome!!

  7. Barb,
    That B/W quilt is amazing! I would have never thought of that. Applique on a red background.. I like that idea! Ooooo... I am curious..What pattern are you working on?

  8. Striking quilt, Barb. You have some really unusual B/W fabrics. Thanks for the tutorial.

  9. Your black and white challenge piece is super good. I like how you sorted the fabrics for their use in the piece. I don't know that I would have thought of using the fabrics for applique but it all works together so well.

  10. Oh, my, another great quilt Barb! You are such a good artist.

  11. LOVE your B/W quilt! Nice treatment of an antique pattern. I love black and white fabric and collect it every chance I get. I always think of them as "black on white" and "white on black" and store them labeled as such. But you are so right, there are some that are definitely 50/50! Think I need a new bin!

    Machine-basting stems...GENIUS!!!

    In stitches,
    Teresa :o)

  12. I LOVE this quilt!!! Wonderful use of black and white. I love your update of a traditional pattern. And the little hidden birds too! And the quilting! Great idea for stems--basting them by machine. Thanks!

  13. That is a great idea for stems - I'll have to try that.
    I love your challenge quilt - the colors shine on that fab variety of black and whites. I like the birds quilted in and look forward to hearing the story behind them.

  14. Love your black and white quilt--cute quilting designs and what a fun use of fabrics! (I've been accumulating black and whites and telling myself I will do something fun, so it's nice to see what you've done!)

  15. Barb, you are such a talented lady! I love everything about your quilt but I think the birds add just the right amount of whimsy. Love all the black and whites.

  16. Genius design in that black and white quilt! Wonderful fabrics, a delight for the eye, you really have to study it to appreciate them all. You are amazing, Barb!


  17. What a great block, and I love your colors. The black and white background is perfect. I MUST try your idea for stems...I never seem to get them right, thanks for the tip!

  18. Love your version of the quilt - its really, really great! Sometimes I hand baste the stems if they are coming apart despite a sturdy press, but your idea looks perfect - must try it soon. Really hate those pesky pins getting in the way!

  19. I absolutely love your black and white quilt! The design is perfect and the fabrics draw the eye in for a better look. What a wonderful assortment of fabrics you got..and such a brilliant way of using them. :)

  20. Your Whig Rose is so refreshing and modern looking .... lovely!

    Great tip about sewing bias strips and one that I will do. Many thanks for sharing!

  21. your black and white challenge quilt is really wonderful~!!~
    what a great take on a traditional pattern.

    thank you for sharing your tips on stem applique. i have a similar techneque but with a bit of a twist . . . i'll have to share it on my blog one of these days . . .



Thank you for commenting! If you can't comment here, free free to email me directly at