The Insane Red Artichoke

The traditional guild I’m a part of has issued a challenge to create a quilt using the shape formed by two squares superimposed on each other, one rotated 45 degrees. It’s a shape found often in Islamic art and mosaics.

I’m not always very good at completing challenges, but I was trying to draft a completely different block, and as I was drawing guidelines I realized I had drawn the shape in the challenge. So I drew it a few more times. And then made the quilt top once before figuring out a more precise way to piece it, so I made it again.

But eventually I ended up with this, which I’m very happy with!


This quilt is actually paper-pieced and didn’t involve any Y-seams! I’m working on writing up a pattern for this and am hoping to have it available soon.

insane_artichoke_detail copy

Here are a couple shots of the back.



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Morning’s Born With The Lights Of Love

I said I wasn’t likely to make another double wedding ring quilt, but a flash of inspiration and the motivation provided by the NYC Mod Quilt Guild’s Double Wedding Ring Challenge have me eating my words. So here is:

Morning’s Born With The Lights Of Love

Morning's Born With The Lights Of Love by Sylvia Schaefer

In case you’re wondering, the title is a line taken from this song performed by Emmylou Harris (probably my favorite singer ever) and Don Williams.

Morning's Born With The Lights Of Love by Sylvia Schaefer

The quilt is all pieced, and was constructed by drawing a full-size pattern on freezer paper to ensure that the lines of the rays stayed consistent, then cutting out and paper-piecing the individual background pieces.

I used a double layer of batting to keep some puffiness in the rings, and then quilted all the rays with matching thread and a different quilting pattern for each color. I really love the way the back turned out:

Morning's Born With The Lights Of Love by Sylvia Schaefer

Morning's Born With The Lights Of Love by Sylvia Schaefer

Morning's Born With The Lights Of Love by Sylvia Schaefer

This shot’s a bit washed out, but I had to include since the wind caught it just right!

Morning's Born With The Lights Of Love by Sylvia Schaefer

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Crabby baby quilt

A friend of mine is expecting her second child, and I made her this baby quilt (sorry about the picture quality; I ran out of daylight hours to take better pictures outside!):

Caroline's baby quilt by Sylvia SchaeferMy friend wrote her dissertation on salt marsh invertebrates, so this was a natural choice for her baby’s first quilt. (Gotta start ‘em young on marine science!) I pieced the backing with some crab fabric that didn’t quite match the front in color but was too cute not to use and the rest of the tan shell fabric.

Caroline's baby quilt by Sylvia Schaefer

This is a slightly modified version of the Crabby quilt pattern by Bonnie Johnson and Loretta Shriner. If I were to make this pattern again, I’d probably distribute the green squares a little better along the outside edges. But overall, I think this turned out pretty cute!

Posted in Baby, Science | 1 Comment

The Ooze Primordial is going to AQS QuiltWeek!

I’ve never been to Iowa, but my quilt is headed there! I received notification today that The Ooze Primordial (Photosystem I) has been accepted as part of the American Quilter’s Society Modern Challenge, and will be on display at AQS QuiltWeek in Des Moines, Iowa.

If the judges like it, it might have the chance to travel around to the other AQS QuiltWeek shows in the next year, as well. This is my first time entering a national show and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

I’m working on quilting a bunch of quilts, but haven’t completed anything yet. Here’s a preview of another nerdy quilt coming down the pike, though:

in-progress quilt by Sylvia Schaefer

in-progress by Sylvia Schaefer

Edit: Just noticed my quilt is featured on the AQS Modern Challenge debut site!

Posted in In Progress, Shows | 2 Comments

Paper piecing presentation

Here is my presentation from the May meeting of the Modern Athens Quilts guild:

And here is the handout I passed out.

There are some exercises at the bottom–here are the answers and some more detail on making your own patterns, since we didn’t really go over them much, if at all, in the meeting.

Piecing order

Keep in mind that there is often more than one correct answer! This is definitely the case for these two blocks–for example, in the second one you could sew each set of triangles of the same color in any order you liked.



Drawing your own block

Here’s a little more detail on that.

The lightning bolt you’re trying to piece here would have some inside corners if you tried to just sew it with two pieces of fabric, so we need to break the block up into as few pieces as possible while eliminating inside corners. In this case, we will need to break it up into major sections because there are inside corners on both sides of the shape. Start with the major section lines:


Now the rest of the seamlines are easy!


So when you piece, you will piece this block in three major sections.


If you were thinking it would be four, notice that the top lefthand corner piece is just one piece of fabric that can be sewn with a single straight seam–so you can just leave it with the section below it, and there will be less section-piecing hassle later!

So here’s your final block, numbered:


Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

East Cobb show & what I’m up to…

First off, two of my quilts, The Ooze Primordial (Photosystem I) and Breadbasket, are going to be part of the East Cobb Quilt Guild’s show this summer! This is a show open to all Georgia quilters, and I’m super excited that both the quilts I entered were selected to be a part of it.

I haven’t actually finished any quilts lately, but I’ve been working on a lot of things:

Some machine quilting with feathers and pebbles…

machine quilting by Sylvia Schaefer

… and some top-piecing, including this one (which isn’t interesting-looking now, but it will be awesome when it’s quilted–at least in my imagination!)…

by Sylvia Schaefer

… and cutting zillions of little squares so I’ll have some English paper piecing to work on while traveling this summer…

stacks of squares by Sylvia Schaefer

… and making myself a new wallet, because I get jealous of my friend Marybeth’s awesome wallet every time I’m fabric shopping with her.

sea urchin wallet by Sylvia Schaefer

From the book “Zakka Style.”

sea urchin wallet inside by Sylvia Schaefer

The inside, with more ocean-themed scraps that I’ve been hoarding.


Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Climate Change Art Show

My quilt Marine Snow is in a show with art and science about climate change. If you’re in Athens, come check it out! There will be an opening reception this Saturday, March 23, from 6-9pm.


(click to embiggen)

Posted in Shows | Tagged , | Leave a comment


Thanks for visiting Flying Parrot Quilts! Please check out the quilt photos, and come back soon as this site is still under construction. (Plus, new things are always being made and added!)

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off