BB 7-16-07: Hi RaNae – My project in the next 3 days is to have a design for you to appove. I am looking at your assignments list and would like to know which type of designs do you still need done. I will concentrate on whichever designs you still need. Thanks – Barbara Baker

BB 7-18-07: This is a pencil sketch of my design. I drew each component with pencil and paper then photocopied them, cut them out and pasted it all together.

Barbara B 1

I haven’t started dealing with color yet, that’s next. The 4 Baravelle squares that are lined up in the 4 corners I thought I would do 2 or 3 colors in spiral spokes. The 4 Baravelle squares that are on point I thought I would do dark with 2 or 3 color spirals down to the center. All 8 of these I planned to float with a dark edging so as not compete with the edges of the triangles.

Let me know if you get the picture and if it’s right and what you think of the design.

RM: Barbara, this is BEAUTIFUL and you did a great job drawing it all by hand.  You know what’s interesting?  You and Evelyn Larrison have use EXACTLY the same underlying structure for your design, yet come up with VASTLY different quilts.  That’s terrific for me to show how different the same structure can be, just by changing the type of spiral that fills the space.

You seem to have thought through the logistics of the design quite well (e.g. avoiding competition between the Baravelles and the other triangle spirals). Now I can’t wait to see what you do with color!

I have a few questions:

Did you draw the triangle spirals as Pinwheel or as Nesting spirals?   (I can’t see details that small.)  One thing I’ve been experimenting with is using Pinwheels on the outside ring to create a smooth flow, then using Nesting on inner rings to speed up piecing.

How well do your templates fit together?  Given that you drew one then photocopied and taped them together, rather than designing as a whole and cutting them apart, I’m wondering about the possibility that the copying process may have warped the templates just a bit so they don’t quite fit exactly, which may lead to assembly problems later on.  Apart from avoiding a headache later on, I’m curious from the book point of view about what to tell readers to watch out for.  Rhonda had a problem with this, and I wrote her a solution that you may want/need to employ as well.

Are you ready for the time it will take to assemble so many small pieces?

BB 10-5-07: Here are a couple of pictures of what I’ve done. The colored drawing is fairly accurate except for the baravelle spirals. On the pictures of the baravelle spiral that I have done there are 4 like this one and there will be 4 graduating from dark on the inside to lite on the outside. The triangles in the picture are in process and all of them I have done are in process. I hope this gives you an idea what I’ve got.

Barbara Baker


 Barbara B block

Barbara B triangles

RM: Barbara, it looks like you, Micki and Kathy Edwards are going to be the Micro-Spiros!  All those tiny little pieces!  The drawing is impressive, and I’m sure the final result will be breathtaking!  Keep us posted, and we’ll in turn cheer you toward the finish line!

RM 10-22-07: Here’s Barbara’s quilt in “almost finished” state.  She achieved the beautifully gradual changes in shade by using Moda Ombre fabrics.  They have a continuous gradation of color from one side of the 44″ width to the other.  Barbara carefully cut her triangles across the fabric so there are about 12 steps of gradation in the triangle spirals  (they use 1/2″ increments) and as many as 22 steps of gradation in the Baravelle spirals (in the square blocks).  Great work, Barbara! Have you given it a name?

Barbara Baker


April 2010: In the Foothill Quilt Show (Northen California), Barbara’s quilt won First Place Member’s Choice and Honorable Mention Viewers Choice.  Congratulations Barbara!

November 2010: Pioneer Quilt Guild Quilt Show, Rocklin, CA, November 2010, First Place Viewers Choice and First Place Members Choice


13 Responses to “Barbara Baker”

  1. barbarab Says:

    I’m working on it! After reading alot of the drafts, I’ve realized I understand alot more if I have pictures. I have a few ideas, but would like an assignment to focus my planning on. Once I start working on it the ideas will start flowing and I’ll end up with several quilts. I’ll be out of town for the next week, so I’ll be back rested and ready to sew!

  2. RaNae Says:

    Barbara, I’m so glad to hear you’ve had an “AHA!” moment! I can’t wait to see your ideas. And of course, feel free to ask any questions you may have!

  3. barbarab Says:

    I did all the triangles as nesting spirals with ease of sewing in mind. This was done on graph paper in 1/4 inch scale so I will be drawing all of the final patterns true to scale. Even as roughly as I did the drawing the fit was halfways decently. But at that scale the measurements are not very accurate. As for the small size pieces, this should be at least 52 inches square when done, again for ease of sewing. I am thinking purple, blue and green with black as a background.

  4. Micki Says:

    Barbara, your design is stunning and your color selection sounds as though it will be striking!

  5. scowlkat Says:

    Barbara, what a beautiful design. You have certainly done a fantastic job drawing by hand!

  6. joaninga Says:

    YOur design is beautiful Barbara. And your color selections will make it very striking.

  7. barbarab Says:

    I have started drafting my actual blocks and have some questions regarding the sewing. I know I read that several ladies have done theirs in much smaller size than I am. What size and kind of needles are you using and thread. Looking at the miniscule pieces I am drawing I think I’ll need all the help I can get. Thanks for anyone that has an answer.

  8. Micki Says:

    Barbara, my blocks are 8″ x 8″ and the smallest triangles are very teensy. I’m using Schmetz 75/11 and 80/12 Universal and they are working beautifully. I do change the needle more often than in normal stitching because of the many layers of fabric – especially in the early smaller rows as it much easier sewing with a really sharp point.

  9. barbarab Says:

    Thanks for the info everyone.

  10. scowlkat Says:

    I use 60 needles with silk thread when sewing very fine pieces. (I do a lot of machine applique with tiny pieces.) However, you have to be very careful because they tend to bend easily so don’t know if they will work with your design.

    Can’t wait to see how your design progresses!

  11. quiltfee Says:

    Can’t wait to see your quilt!


  12. quilting247 Says:

    This is beautiful! What an amazing amount of work. It was worth the effort. … Valerie

  13. Sharon Kean Says:

    Wow, this is beautiful work, I hope I can develope something this good once I’ve finished the basic class and move onto this one. Well done.

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