News and Musings


Many of you are familiar with Shar Jacobson’s acrylic template sets.  What you may not know is that she regularly will design a new quilt using an old template set, recycling the same template set.  I thought that attitude was highly commendable and wanted to do it with my Fan Hexagon set.

Obviously you can use the whole hexagon in several different ways,



I don’t use layer cakes or pre-cuts at all (I buy fabric in quantity!) but a friend of mine uses pre-cuts often.   She has been experimenting with the Fan Hexagon Template Set and told me to pass along that the 10″ Layer Cakes work great.   You can get one large Hexagon plus the two inner side pieces from one piece of fabric.





Again, going through my scraps I pulled together enough fabrics to make this 14-color spectrum, interspersed with mostly white/black prints.  You can’t see the details in some of the white and black prints but there’s a fabric that shows American landmarks (the Statue of Liberty is in the centermost hexagon) and another fabric that shows a village called “Quilt Town.”  You will notice in the appliqued small hexagons in the upper and lower border that there is two of every color except yellow.  That’s because I wanted the small hexagons to start and end in the “up” position and, because I absolutely could not find any more of one of the yellow fabrics (and if I had to eliminate the yellow hexagon from the top border, I had to eliminate it from the bottom border).  One of the risks of working with scraps is you run out!


Fan Hexagon Table Runner — Free Project


I wanted to go completely scrappy using the fan hexagon template set.  So I went to my stash and pulled 15 floral fabrics to make up 3 fans.  I used a white on white print for the background triangles.  I alternated the way the fans were pointing, added a white strip on the top and bottom of the band of fans so the fans would appear to be “floating.”  I scrounged in my scraps again and found a green and white floral for the borders.  I did simple in-the-ditch quilting.  I used an owl print for the backing, multicolored owls on white background.  I really like the way it turned out and it didn’t take very long to sew up (took more time to paw through my scraps!).





Miniature Quilt Show

Later in 2017 I have been asked to judge a miniature quilt show (another part of the Legacy Grant). That should be an interesting experience and, probably, an uncomfortable one for me. I am much less impressed by physical perfection in quilts and more impressed by visual impact and innovation. Like most quilters, when I go to a show I am sometimes befuddled by why a certain quilt won and another one didn’t even get an honorable mention. This may be my first and last attempt at judging.

Youth Quilting Classs holding quilt blocks

Legacy Grant program with the Evening Star Quilters of Red Wing

In early 2017 I participated in a Legacy Grant program with the Evening Star Quilters of Red Wing. What is a Legacy Grant?

In 2008 (yes, in the middle of the economic downturn), Minnesota voters took a bold and historic action by imposing a three-eighths of one percent tax on themselves for 25 years, until 2034, in the name of cleaner water, healthier habitat, better parks and trails and sustaining our arts and cultural heritage. The funds raised by this tax have funded numerous grants and programs, including ones for the arts. (more…)


LeDuc Quilts

In 2016-17 I finally finished a project I started in 2004. At that time a museum opened in my hometown of Hastings, Minnesota. The LeDuc House Museum was built during the Civil War for General William G. LeDuc. In 1958 it was donated to the Minnesota Historical Society but a series of events delayed its renovation and opening to the public until 2005. So when it finally did open up to the public, it was a big deal. (more…)

Fan Hexagon Quilt Blocks

Original Pieced Hexagon Design

Late in 2016 I created an original pieced hexagon design. No, it’s not another pieced hexagon design with dozens of itty-bitty pieces. Don’t get me wrong… I am in awe of millefiori quilts and some of the other intricately pieced hexagon designs. I’m just never going to make one. I make BIG quilts; queen- sized is my standard size. I also like to complete my quilts in a reasonable amount of time, say less than a year. Those millefiori quilts have got to take several years.

So when I was designing the Fan Hexagon, I made it big enough so you can easily and quickly sew a large quilt and the individual pieces of the Fan Hexagon are large enough to show off medium to large scale fabrics.

It was quite an education to produce this set of templates. I sincerely feel for the guys in the Art Department at T&T Graphics who were unfailingly professional and courteous through my dozen or so revisions. At times it was like speaking two different languages: quilt-speak to engineering-speak. Anyway now it is done and I invite you to visit my For Sale page and see the template set.

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Quilting Frustrations