Monday, May 9, 2016

Happy Meowther's Day! to all us cat ladies!

To other matters:
I have had some requests to explain how I laid out the blocks on the Caswell quilt since I did not follow the regular 11" square layout.  There were three steps:
1) Decide on size of finished quilt.
2) Make up a gridwork of the finished size.
3) Lay out blocks to fill out and fit the grid.

1)  I decided on a size of 60x60 for a several reasons. The interior of the original Caswell composed of her 11" blocks is 55x66 so 60x60 would cover the same approximate area.  I have a nice fiberboard design wall which I made and which is 60x60-a silly reason but there it is-I could lay the completed blocks on the board as they are laid out on the grid.  And lastly, 60x60 is a good workable size for machine quilting.

2)  To make the grid,  I dug out my trusty graph paper.  Each square is 1/4 inch so one square could equal one inch.  To make a 60x60 square grid box, I carefully cut some pieces of graph paper to the right size and taped them together on the wrong side  counting grids carefully all the time to ensure I had 60x60.

3)  I knew I wanted 30-35 blocks.  I began with some basics.  I knew i wanted to make a fruit basket on the bottom center so using my graph paper, i cut out a 11x22 grid square.  Here is a photo of the

original Caswell carpet in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum.  You can see the fruit basket at the bottom of the carpet and I thought that 11x22 would be a coherent size for this project.  I also cut several 11x11 squares.  I love all the squares which Corliss Searcy designed for this quilt and thought I would make some of hers exactly as she did.  This 11x11 size also had the advantage of being interchangeable on the grid so if one color seemed to be dominating in one part of the quilt, I could swap out blocks and break that up.
Here is my first grid with the block cut in graph paper and arranged so they all fit.  The secret was to keep counting the squares on the blocks all the time so the size is correct.

Here is the final version though I tweaked it here and there.

So.....that's how it did it!

Here is a pretty bird at our squirrel feeder:

My camera is pretty lame.  I hope to have a new one soon.  I caught this bird in a millisecond: the next second she was gone.  She is a Rose Breasted Grosbeak.  Here is a better photo which is from the Audubon site.

These are such pretty birds all rose and black and white.  This time of year some passers-thru visit our yard like the one above.  I hang out oranges also as to attract the  Baltimore Orioles who visit during the month of May.  We saw our first hummingbird yesterday!

Happy quilting!


  1. I saw your finished Caswell on the FB page and then switched over to your blog. OMG, your quilts are just beautiful. You are quite and accomplished quilter. I love the layout you used. Although I've read it over and over again, I am still a bit confused. I will refer back. I am still waiting to receive my pattern from Threadbear.

  2. I have so enjoyed looking at your quilts and the birds, both so colourful Thanks for sharing and so glad you have joined the blogging world so I can see your art. Cheers Glenda

  3. Your quilts are lovely! It is so interesting to see how you designed your Caswell quilt, and I also liked the lovely border you made for Montmellick.

    1. Thank you! I loved making both these quilts.

  4. Thank you for taking the time to explain how you went about designing the blocks to make them all fit together. It makes so much sense to me now that I have a visual to refer to.