A group blog for working on UnRuly Quilting projects and most especially UnRuly Letters. What is UnRuly? Liberated, wonky, improvisational, mis-matched, points cut off FUN.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I Did It!

I got it all put together! Wow! I love it! It measures 62" x 82". I can't wait to sleep under it. I call it "Plays Well With Others." They're Legos, of course, and with over 1,450 Legos, whoever is playing with them must play well with others, and the Legos themselves must cooperate. And this is also one of the themes at my new job... if you play well with others, you will do well here. And I'm very much enjoying my new job, so I guess I play well with others. Thanks for the great inspiration, Tonya!

Carol E.

Too Long Away

I haven't been to this blog in too long! It's fun to see what everyone is working on. Inspirational!

I've been concentrating on a Legos quilt. Man, a lot of hours go into these things! I finally got all my blocks made, and today I am assembling rows and borders. I just made a big goof and put a border on the wrong side and upside down, so it's time to call it a night. I hope to have it all put together by the end of tomorrow.

Here it is filling up my design wall and overflowing onto a bench.

--Carol E.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Friendship Quilts

I've been making friendship quilts for DD's friends, and, of course, for her, as birthday presents.

The first one - February 2010

Joyeux Anniversaire Magaly

The second one - March 2011

Sweet 16
This is the last one - December 2011

Joyeux Anniversaire Didine

My letters are definitely improving and I'm getting more adventurous.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Crumb Quilt finished

I did this quilt as part of Jo's Crumb-Along.  I had fun making the alphabet and numbers - it's tricky to force yourself to be wonky!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Colours of Life

I made this for the Liberated Round Robin Challenge, but didn't finish it as the last round was curves and it was getting too big to do squiggles.

As it was my Mother's 80th birthday party last week and I was going back to the UK for it, I needed something to give her.

She's been on at me for ages to make her a lap quilt to keep her knees warm so I pulled this out, took a deep breath and machine quilted it. Just straight lines, using 1" masking tape as a guide. Not bad for a first attempt!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Illuminated letters?

I'm making this for a friend who just got a mid-life academic appointment.
To celebrate his new career as a professor of theology,
I'm making him a small word quilt for his office.
He picked the Latin quote: fides quaerens intellectum,
which means faith seeking understanding.
All the letters are made from word fabric, and the letters are about 4.5 inches high.
I wasn't happy with how much empty space there was in the top row,
so I experimented a bit with a filler.

The large f was originally a cross, but I decided to make it the first letter of the quote,
and invoke a sense of medieval manuscripts with illuminated letters.
I'm going to embroider around the light brown f in black and gold,
to embellish it a bit, as well as making the letter pop a bit more.
It was fun to be working with letters again.
It's been awhile for me.

Christmas Words

Since the Christmas quilt I made last year had an unfortunate laundry accident--red flannel backing doing a massive bleed despite being prewashed multiple times, I've been working on a new one. The center medallion was completed about a month ago and now I've been laboring on the border.

Here are the four border sides just waiting for corner pieces. I thought I would share them now since they are certainly easier to photograph on the design wall. I won't tell you what a challenge this was to get them to the size I needed. I am definitely math challenged. No matter how many times I measured and added they still came out too long or too short the first time around. And yes, I still need to trim down that bottom row. It went from being 3" too short to 1/2" too big!

Here's a rather poorly lit pic of the center medallion.

Now the challenge is to get it completed without getting sidetracked which tends to happen more often than not. Those Lego quilts keep calling to me.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Every year I make an ornament for my son, each niece and nephew and some other special children in my life.

This is just the first batch! I'm using Tonya's Word Play Quilts book as inspiration for this year's ornaments.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Another one for the tourists. Starfish Beach is a favorite excursion.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Another little quilt to sell (hopefully!) to tourists in our islands.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

More Legomania

I finally got a chance to work on the legos this afternoon. I now have 16 blocks, aiming for about 20-24 I guess.

I recently put them up on the wall and auditioned some possible arrangements. I think this one is in the lead:with some strips between the blocks, Chinese Coin style. But I also kind of liked this one...

where the Legos are a border. Not sure what goes in the middle - possibly some big weird and wonky string star? Or some big crazy applique? Maybe that will be #2 in the series.

I was also amusing myself by taking note of some of the strange combinations of novelty fabrics that just happened to fall next to each other. My favorite - which might turn out to be the title of the quilt - was Brooklyn Tomato. Some of the other good ones were Spiderman Cupcake and Subway Robot...sort of like the Unruly version of Mad Libs!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lots of photos

I've been too busy to post here, but here's what has been going on Chez Nous.

Apologies if you read my blog and have already seen these.

First Brick Building (WiP name). Currently about 50" by 47" and still growing.

Brick Building

Next up - Alex revisited. I made this in March for DD's birthday. There was a hiccup on the binding so I unpicked it , cut the bat and backing back and started again. A lot better.

Happy Birthday Alex

Another quilt for DD. Still a Wip. The sewing machine chewed up the bottom row and there is already a split seam. Yet more unpicking, add a bit more white between the bottom 2 rows and then white borders. Thinking about a black binding, but will probably go for white.

Music is Magic
Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

After much "education" from Clare in France, I am at last able to post here -- whoo hoo! I'm a Full-Blooded Liberated Quilter, love anything Gwen, Freddy, MaryLou, Tonya.... Just don't make me use a pattern and I'm a happy quilter. Here is a little piece I've just finished depicting houses in our funky Caribbean Island town. Mary in Panama

Saturday, October 8, 2011


I want to add words.
What they will be hasn't been decided yet.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Playing Along - an Update

Here is my legoes flimsy
named Dumpster Diving.

It measures 48" x 60"
and will be backed with a fabulously fun fabric.

The leftover strips and bits are being used
in my Alpha-Palooza project
that is part of Lynne's Letter Along.

(I'm mostly following Tonya's book
since I challenged myself to make lower case letters).


Tonya really got us going with this one, didn't she ?!?!?!?!!!!!!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lego Mini Quilt

I took a break from the wild and crazy Legos and did a mini quilt to mark the anniversary of September 11th. As a New Yorker, that was a rough day.

One of the positive memories of 2001 was of everyone wearing flags, and ribbons of red, white and blue. There was a feeling of unity and "we're all in this together". To commemorate the 10th anniversary on September 11th, I spent the afternoon in my studio and made this little patriotic quilt.

It's now finished, with a bright red binding.

Love Them Legos!!!

OK, who's doing the Legos inspired by Tonya's tutorial? I am having a blast with these little guys. It is true, I have been accused in the past of being obscessed with what my friends and I like to call "DLS"...that's Dinky Little Sh...Stuff...and these blocks just fit right in.

What fun! I LOVE that you can use even little tiny pieces, and I love the randomness of the blocks. The hardest thing for me is using the ugly fabrics. Some of mine are cut really small, and they are still butt-ugly.

Who else is enjoying this insanity as much as I am?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Music is Magic

Et voila!

Music is Magic
I tried Tonya's way of doing a W, but it looked lumpy. So I used Lynne's method. It's not for the faint hearted! A lot of fabric ended up in the bin, but I got there in the end.

Now to have a rummage to find suitable fabric for the exclamation mark at the end.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Playing with Words

During a recent sewing room clear up, I found some letters I had been working on and forgotten about.

My daughter "politely" reminded me that this quilt is meant for her and why hadn't I finished it.  Doh! Other projects got in the way.

So over the last few days I've been working diligently away trying to make some inroads in to it.

I wasn't at all sure about the green, but it doesn't look as bad as I thought it would.

Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here!
The quote is from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone, chosen by "herself".

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Study in Contrasts Series Reveal Day

Group Photo taken late last night (lamp light)
 There were so many glorious leftover  segments and bits
after I finished trimming out Gotta Love It . . .
I just HAD to do something with them.

And so the challenge to create a series of Priority Quilts was born!

Unruly back of Synergy
 My personal challenge was to use only black & whites with blues . . .
and that included the backs of the quilts and the bindings.

Detail - Turquoise Sunset
 Another element of the challenge was that I would quilt these myself
(no small deal since I had hardly ever  FM Quilted anything).

Detail - Yin Yang
Now, these ten quilts are first going to work with me
and will then go off to AAQI in today's mail . . .

Come visit my blog for more photos
and links to the complete web album,
plus links to the PQs' webpages at AAQI.

LOVE being an UnRuly Quilter!


Sunday, August 7, 2011

I'm a believer now......

Tonya is making a quilt using 1 1/2 strips. Lots of strips, using old and sometimes ugly fabric. I saw it and thought NO WAY. If I did that it would be ugly. She encouraged me to try it.

I have enough old fabric, and even ugly fabric that I thought I would never use.
I also had a bunch of small triangles, cut off corners, that could make flying geese. They are small, and I just about tossed them.
I thought about the 1 1/2 strips, I thought about the geese and wondered, what if I combined them?

I liked it.
I liked it alot!
I even started to love it.
It became addicting. I made even more blocks......

In theory the rows should be 12 1/2 inches tall when sewn, they aren't. They are closer to 12 inches....easy to trim using my 12 inch ruler.
I am now a believer, you can mix old, new and even ugly fabrics to create a one of a kind quilt!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A finish and introduction.

I've never made a post!  My name is Manda, and I love Tonya's book. I also host a "Word Play" bee over on Flickr. I just finished an I Spy quilt and wanted to share!  I had originally planned to piece the words in the front of the quilt like in the airplane quilt in the book, but once I got them finished, this idea came to me for the backing.  This is an "action" photo. My kids wanted to snuggle under it ;)

Ada's I Spy- back

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Tonya is a genius!  Look at what she put together on my design wall.  And she did it in about FIVE minutes.  Add a few blocks, some stitching, and a quilt is born!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Call for Entries: All That Jazz

have ya'all seen this?

Ricky Timms is curating a special exhibit called All That Jazz: Improvisational Quilts. This unique collection of quilts will be displayed at the  Road to California 2012 Show - "The Best Quilt Show in the West" - from January 19-22, 2012. Anyone wishing to submit a quilt for this exhibit is welcome to do so providing the work is an improvisational design. Deadline for submitting is September 30, 2011.

What is an improvisational quilt? Any quilt that is started without a predetermined pattern or plan and evolves throughout the construction process. Each quilt in this exhibition should have emerged from the seed of an idea without fully knowing what the finished piece would look like. Sixteen to Twenty quilts will be chosen for the exhibit, depending on size. There is maximum of two submissions per person and submissions are free of charge.

This is not a competition. The quilts that are selected will not be judged. A Certificate of Exhibition will be awarded to each quilt chosen for display. This is a one-time, special exhibit highlighting the best of the best from "free-spirits" quilters around the world.
Tonya again. You can actually send a fairly small quilt (120" all around is the minimum - the way I figure, that is 30" square - someone correct me if I'm wrong). Submissions are FREE and I don't see any rules against posting pics of it on the internet. I have a suspicion it might be geared more towards art quilts and hand-dyed fabrics, but I could be very wrong. Did I mention FREE submissions? Time to figure out what to enter!

Monday, July 4, 2011

a wall quilt.....

Today is my friends birthday. 
 I made her this quilt. Her name is made with wonky letters. There are butterflies (or dragonflies) and a flower pot sewn haphazardly . Creative space is stamped with paint. The whole thing is made with old sheets. 
I like the way the sheets look, but they are weird to sew with. I am ready to sew with fabric that is 100% cotton again. 


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Definitely Getting Unruly Around Here !

On behalf of all of us who come here and read with every single new post, but don't speak up or post ourselves very often ;) I would just like to say that I truly enjoy all of your posts and your gorgeous photos!

I just finished making lots of little unruly Flying Geese and had so much fun winging it with only some random scraps and a pair of scissors. No paper piecing or sketches or rotary cutters were used.....whatsoever...in the making of my fun.

As as Gwen Marston calls them...I only used 'floor scraps.' Random leftovers, tossed into a bag after all of my other sewing on projects are done. And to be able to pick up raggedy little, mishaped pieced and sew them in without any thought or worry about precision is such a joy!

My bits and pieces are going into a little quilt donation for our AAQI Liberated Challenge which we originally started on another one of Tonya's blogs..Liberated Quilting Blog ..which Clare Worthy had set up for her. I (Michele Bilyeu) took over the challenge part and it is still running strong..so please join in with your own unruly donations at any time at and join in our wonderful and varied quilting fun and our AAQI Liberated Challenge

Meanwhile, I'm getting back to those floor scraps and more wonky liberation and unruly quilting time!

For those who asked ;)
(Full tutorial with more photos is on my own blog)

Monday, June 20, 2011

another "baby name" quilt

 I enjoy making these baby quilts with their names on them. This also has some free-pieced flowers and butterflies....
....and hearts on the back.
There are two rows of hearts.
On to my next letter project.

This isn't a baby quilt, quite the opposite. I am not sure yet how things will go together. I want to add some more things. I am off to play.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New Book...Must have...

I just saw this book somewhere else on the net, and I think I need it!

I think we ALL will need it!

You're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but when it looks like that? Oh YEAH!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Two Finishes

I know I've shown one of these before, but I wanted you to see it bound.

So here we go.

Finish No 1 - Family Trees.

Finish No. 2 - Cutie Bug made for my 10 month old  niece.

I haven't got any UnRuly or Word Play quilts in  the pipeline, except for my house.  So I'll be a bit quiet  for a while.

Take care.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I need a name!

Hello fellow UnRulies!

I hope you all had a relaxing Memorial Day weekend. I have started a new wordy/unruly quilt and I need some help naming it. It was inspired by some fabric I hand dyed and then fell in love with. You can read all about it here if you would like but in the meantime here is a photo of the first four blocks.
The theme is Descriptive color words. Any ideas?