Kathy Draft 1

Kathy, you’ve got some great stuff here!

One of the things I talk about in Spiral to Quilt – More Than One Shape is using an existing quilt block and setting spirals into the various patches. Coincidentally, that is exactly you did, Kathy, by using a Bow Tie Block.I think it’s great that you combined TYPES of spirals — pinwheel and point-to-point — while keeping the same shape. Same shape, but a VERY different effect. A good illustration for the book.

Looking at the large “empty” pieces in #1, I had an idea that you may or may not like: Have you ever done “Stack & Whack”? You have 4 each of two different triangles here. You could use a large-scale fabric for these large pieces, and cut 4 identically-patterned pieces for each set of triangles, perhaps even coordinating the two sets so that the designs work together. You could continue the pattern in the outer corners as well, if you wish….


(Doing something like this would also make a great illustration of how to use large-scale fabrics in spirals, something I don’t have yet….)

You’re clearly getting the “spin” of it, and you’ve come up with some really exciting designs!

KE: After our discussion last night, I switched my spirals from pinwheel to nesting and made them reverse, too. I like the way it looks when the blocks are side by side. Thanks for the great advice. Whatcha think?

Kathy 2

RM: Kathy, they are both beautiful. Personally, I think I’m leaning a little toward the first one. The reason, I think, is that the center forms a pinwheel and I liked how the outer ring continued that motion. In this one, you sort of have a single-direction pinwheel competing with the mirrored placements around it.

I think that at this point, you choice of fabric will have a great deal to do with the choice between the two. If you decide to go with a large-scale fabric in the center pinwheel as we discussed, how THAT fabric looks in the design may be the deciding factor between the two settings.

KE: I will probably add one more of your fabrics the (Blue Sunset) to these to get
the right shading in the spirals.

Kathy Fabrics All

RM: Kathy, these are beautiful colors (I have to say that right? :)) and not what I expected when you were talking about reds.

One comment: for the Stack & Whack triangles in the middle that we discussed, the butterfly fabric probably isn’t the right fabric — in order for that technique to create clear pinwheels you need a fabric with a more defined structure. This fabric works more as an allover blender.

Try it one out before you cut and sew — I think you’ll find that it just creates a blob in the middle — albeit a beautifully-colored one! The one caveat to this would be the size of the triangles. If they are small enough to take in just one wing or one small defined pattern bit of the pattern it MIGHT work. But for the size I think you’re going for (I’m assuming a finished size of 24″-30″ or larger) those triangles will be 5″ – 6″ across and you’ll need something with strong lines on that scale to really make the pinwheel pop.

A note about buying fabric here: decide how many repetitions of the pattern you want (4 if only in the middle 8 if middle and corners) and be sure to buy that many repeats of the design.

RM: Kathy, here are a couple of photos of fabric that Kathy Oppelt and I saw on Saturday while we were (what else?) checking out fabric stores. Not your colors, or likely even your style, but they do illustrate what I mean when I suggest a more structured fabric.

KE: RaNae, I’ve been cutting and pasting fabic the last three days. Taken pictures and combining results and think I finally have it. Note that I changed my color palette significantly. Since the pictures are pictures of 1 1″2″ pictures, they are not very clear, but think you can get the idea.

Please provide me feedback when you are feeling better. As far as I know, there is no cure for “Spiralitis”.

Kathy E 7-2-1

Kathy E 7-2-2

RM: Kathy, these are beautiful! I really like the colors, and I love the way the lighter bits of color create a real sense of depth! I definitely prefer the first one — the red in the center gives a focal point that the other one lacks.

Spiros: Notice something that Kathy did in her blue spirals: some of the spokes go from dark to light and some go from light to dark. This really gives her spirals a 3-dimensional feel.

This is a beautiful design just the way it is, but I can also see how beautiful it would be as a larger quilt, repeating the pattern more for an allover design! (Not a request, just an observation.)

KE 7-15-07: I started sewing my Bowties and was still struggling with the inner triangles. I’ve narrowed it down to these two. I’m sending the individual block and the four blocks together for the two colorways. I lke them both! Whatcha think?

Kathy e Blue

Kathy e orange

RM: Definitely the one with the red in it!  🙂

Kathy, be careful when sewing — some of your points (see the lower left hand corner of these pictures below) are blunted, and that interrupts the smooth line of the spiral.  To avoid this . . . .

Kathy blue blunt

Kathy e orange blunt




. . . . watch two things:

1) Be sure to sew precisely ON the lines or just barely INSIDE the lines but still touching the inside of the thread of the previous line of sewing when you cross previous corners (see the illustrations in the “How to Sew” instructions).

2)  Be sure to press the fabric ALL THE WAY back from the seam line and hold it taut (but don’t stretch it) with a pin or a piece of tape so it doesn’t slip when you sew the next piece over it.

KE: Okay, I’ll go with the orange/red. Thanks for the tips on sewing. I am strip piecing my pieces and not cutting to size.  I’ll pay more attention to those points as I continue.

KE 7-29-07: I’m almost finished with the top of my quilt. It’s measuring about 28″ square. I just want to be sure the border is okay with you. I just have it pinned on for now, so it can be changed if you don’t like it. Rhonda A. came over on Thursday to help with border auditions and this is the one we both liked the most.

Kathy E almost done

I will do my own quilting on home sewing machine. Any thoughts on that, before I begin?

RM:  Kathy, it looks great! Go for it! (Do I recognize that border fabric?  😉 ]  As for quitling: your idea that we discussed — to quilt in square spiral patterns in the black border — sounds great to me.  And as we discussed, just a simply stitch-in-the-ditch in clear or light blue thread along the edges of the spokes in teh blue and green spirals will be enough to help define the spiral but not interfere with the graded triangles.  There’s room for some more decorative work in the larger triangles around the red fabric.

KE 9-4-07:  I took these pics so you could update the blog. I’m sending a closeup so you can see the quilting. I hope it meets with your approval.

August, 2008: BTW, I got a second place ribbon at the Prince William County (Virginia) Fair. The comment the judge made was “Nicely pieced but not sure of fabric choices.” Hmmmmmmm…..I guess I can take it or leave it. I think I’ll leave it!!

Kathy E Final



Kathy E quilted



25 Responses to “Kathy Edwards”

  1. quilterk Says:

    Thanks for the good words. I’ll try playing with the fabric before going too much further. After playing with colored pencils today, I raided my stash and found some fabric that I think will work. I thought I’d use a blue and orange fading from dark to light in the nesting spirals and use yellow in the fifth middle spiral. I took that fabric to the store nand found a large scale Hoffman challenge fabric that picks up all three colors (and a few others) that I think will work as the pinwheel in the middle and the larger trianges on the edge. I’ll cut and past a mock up before I decide which draft to use. Sorry, I don’t have any fabric pics yet. Maybe I can take those later this weekend.

    It sounds like you’re well on your way!

  2. yogib2 Says:

    Hi Kathy,

    I’ve just retuned from DE after getting my nieces and nephew safely back home…any word on a gathering of the VA Spiros this week? Truth be told, I couldn’t wait to log on and see all the latest and greatest since your “call in” with RaNae last week.

    I love your “Bow Tie” design! Since we chatted briefly on the phone about your using a “stack-n-whack” for the center section of your quilt, I have to say that I agree with RaNae’s comments on your fabric choice. At first glance, my gut response was that it wouldn’t be as “graphic” as it could be. We may all be surprised by it’s effect if you decide to give it a try, but having done several stack-n-whacks, I think there may be a better fabric choice out there…I hope you don’t mind me saying so, ultimately you have to trust your gut 🙂

    Let me know if you want to borrow any of my Stack-n-Whack books. I will happily bring them to the bee tomorrow along with my birthday treats to share with all. See you there?

    Are you already pieicng? If so, I can’t wait to see what you’ve done so far.

    RaNae, I have to tell you this one is a “producer”. When she sets her sights on something…well lets just say, it moves right along.

  3. quilterk Says:

    I’m glad you’re back from vacation. I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for all of your good words regarding my design selection. I’m working on changing colors….yeah, hit G Street yesterday…. 25% off now thru mid July. I’ll run the new stuff past you, Mary R., and Linda C., on Thursday, and will send RaNae pics of the new fabrics. Far as I know we are still meeting at Linda’s around 11:00. I have Stack N Whack book, and should be okay. Thanks for your offer. Sorry to miss the Bee tomorrow. Babysitting the First, I mean Second Grader the rest of the week. I’m beginng to think he could figure EQ6 out faster than his ol’ gramma can!

  4. yogib2 Says:

    I’ll plan on Thurs at 11:00 unless I hear differently. Can’t wait to see what you’ve selected…I’ll miss you at the bee, but plan to go to catch up on my “Tuesday Therapy” since I’ve missed the past few. G-Street is on my to-do list later this week.

  5. lindacooper Says:

    Thurs at 11 is great. If you bring your grandchild, that’s fine. I’m looking forward to seeing you. I’m so behind on all the spiralling, cause I’ve just finished painting my bedroom/ sewing room and am putting stuff back.

  6. maryreddington Says:

    Do any of you have the book “One Block Wonder”? RaNae suggested I look at it.

  7. yogib2 Says:

    Hi Kathy.

    I have the book you’re looking for, One Block Wonders. Happy to share it with you, but I have to dig a bit tonight to find it…it’s in the project bag with two or is it three UFO’s I started using her method…you may recall that two weeks ago I put away all of my projects and cleared the design wall completely to avoid any temptation/or distraction as we embark upon this new adventure. I’ll do my best! See you tomorrow. Hope you found a minute to cool off at the pool. It was a scorcher today.


  8. Mary Ann Says:

    Hi, Kathy…
    I make kaleidoscope quilts and my last one was a “One Block Wonder”. I was able to figure it out from looking at the cover of the advertised book. Last week I found the book at the library and checked it out…just to confirm I used the ‘right’ method (I had).
    I can speak with you about the experience. It’s just a variant of ‘stack and wack’.
    If you find a fabric you think might fit the bill, measure the ‘repeat’ distance. For many fabrics it’s about 24 inches. That would be 5-1/3 yards to get eight repeats for your center..with lots of left over material.
    Here’s an idea (RaNae, what about this?). I noticed that four sections in the center are the same and the other four (every other section) are a diffenrent triangle shape. Even the angle coming off from the center varies between those two triangles. This could prove difficult to obtain the desired kaleidoscope effect in the center. The idea: What if the yardage was for only four repeats and identical fabric cuts are used for every other piece? There would still be plenty of fabric to use in the corners, if desired and even the outer square centers.

  9. quilterk Says:

    RaNae, Rhonda and Mary Ann, thanks for all of the helpful hints regarding center triangles. I have purchased another fabric that may work better and just haven’t had a chance to send the pic to RaNae. I did buy a fabric with 8 repeats (4 in the middle, 4 on the edges), thinking I WOULD use two different repeats of the fabric for those pinwheels. I’m still playing….and playing…. with the fabric…taking pics with the triangles marked and cutting the pics up to see what the triangles do. I haven’t found the “right” one yet, but maybe meeting with Rhonda, Mary R and Linda C tomorrow will help get the right mix. I have been working with smaller triangles (about 3″) and maybe enlarging will help the windmills “pop”.

  10. RaNae Says:

    Kathy, I think you are right about using two different repeats for the two different triangles in the center — I think you mean two different sections of the same fabric — that cooperate to create a really interesting design. I also think you’re right about using a larger triangle — but perhaps the final decision on size will come from the fabric itself — how big a triangle do you need to accomodate the design you choose in the fabric?

  11. yogib2 Says:

    Kathy…I’ve found my book One Block Wonders! I’ll bring it this afternoon for you to use. See you shortly.


  12. quilterk Says:

    Hi Rhonda,
    I think Mary R. was the one looking for that book. I’ll take a peek at it, too. Thanks for finding it. See you in a few.


  13. yogib2 Says:

    These look fantasitic Kathy…remember me mentioning something to the effect of “multiples would be stunning” over the weekend…RaNae is right.


  14. maryreddington Says:

    Only one word – stunning. How I envy you being so far along in your process. I like the first one as well. The color in the middle makes it sparkle, with the blue and green so serene.

  15. lindacooper Says:

    Wow, Kathy,
    The quilt looks like a special gift wrapping for a wonderful present! Very cool. It was so good to meet with you and Rhonda and Mary. Your are all planning such awesome quilts. Maybe we can do it again in a couple of weeks and maybe I’ll have more to show by then. Since I’ve finished the painting, I’ve been forcing myself to learn EQ6 and it’s amazing the advances since their earlier programs. I haven’t reached the place I need yet, but I’m enjoying the learning process.
    Happy 4th! Linda

  16. scowlkat Says:

    Kathy, these are superb! I love the three dimensional effect you have going. Since looking at your design, I am going to look at my fabric choices closer to see if I can give some dimension to my quilt!

    Can’t wait to see your progress!

  17. RaNae Says:

    Debra, don’t mess too much with your quilt! What yours has that Kathy’s doesn’t is a scintillating “stained glass” effect. I noticed this in your roses as well — it seems to be something that comes naturally from inside you. Use it!

  18. RaNae Says:

    From Kathy O: Kathy’s bowties look great! And I can see another application for them…

    If you take the bowtie, and flip (use the part that most looks like a loop and streamer from a package bow), so that you get a package bow…the streamers could be lengthened with more twists, add a bouquet of small roses that ? made (love those roses and her heart!)…and you have a wall hanging or throw quilt that shows how different elements from different designs can be combined for a different look!

    Okay, can you see I like roses and hearts and ribbons? Must be part of that Valentine birthday curse…
    Kathy O

  19. quilterk Says:

    I’m sooooo glad you liked my color and design selection, RaNae (and everyone else!). That was really worrying me. It was not easy to find the “right” mix. One thing I did before selecting colors was to do a pencil drawing to get the right shading mix. Then it didn’t matter what colors I selected as long as I got the fabric shaded right. Again, I thank all of you for your compliments and yes, RaNae, there is room for more designing with this simple block……after this one is completed. I did try to expand to make a table runner using the same blocks, but I wasn’t happy with the results. I’ll have to go back to the shading step to see what happens adding a half or full block on either side. . . . after I finish this one.
    Kathy E

    RM: Kathy, as I try to image this as a bigger layout, I think the difficulty is with the corners where all the blue blocks meet up — they make kind of a blob. I think that the same approach to color selection in these corners as you used in the center of this design will give you a result you like better.

  20. ksoppelt Says:

    Kathy – your bowties look great! And I can see another application for

    If you take the bowtie, and flip (use the part that most looks like a loop
    and streamer from a package bow), so that you get a package bow…the
    streamers could be lengthened with more twists, add a bouquet of small roses that ? (can’t remember who) made (love those roses and her heart!)…and you have a wall hanging or throw quilt that shows how different elements from different designs can be combined for a different look!
    Did any of that make sense to anyone but me?
    Kathy in Ga

  21. quilterk Says:

    I saw the error of my ways after I printed the pics. I see what you mean and plan to be careful to match the inside printed triangles with the outside ones when I put thread to the fabric. Thanks for the reminder.
    Kathy E

  22. quilterk Says:

    Yes, Kathy in Ga,
    I get you. It makes sense to me. RaNae is really on to something here and I see these spirals will stretch as far as your imagination will allow. This will not be the last one I do. I’m enjoying the journey.
    Kathy E

  23. devi7 Says:

    Wonderful use of fabrics and prints. I could not picture anything but hand dyes and blenders but your squares are beautiful.

  24. quilterk Says:

    Kathy Edwards
    Alexandria, Virginia
    “Not My Dad’s Bow Ties” (formerly “Celery Twist”)
    Size 26” X 26”
    Machine foundation pieced using “Foundation Stuff”
    Point to Point and Pinwheel Spirals
    Wool batting
    Machine Quilted by designer

    This amazing journey from concept, design, color selection and placement to sewing and quilting design to finished product was a very rewarding experience. I had to draw upon my previous quilting experience to do the foundation piecing and color selections RaNae’s instructions for drafting and piecing the design were clear and concise. . I hand drew the design and then pencil shaded the triangles of the spirals. It was then much easier to find a color combination that worked. Using George Siciliano’s Foundation Stuff to work very well for the foundation piecing. I found working with others doing the same project was useful to bounce ideas off of and to get their constructive criticism and words of encouragement when I needed it. Don’t ever doubt that you can do something, you can do it!

    Thanks for the journey, RaNae.


  25. yogib2 Says:

    Hi Kathy…thanks for you comments. I’m taking your word Majestic and adding it to my title, Majestic Mandalai–A Personal Journey. A journey it has been!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s