Saturday, February 6, 2016

Light and Dark Chocolate

My sewing machine is in for repair so I got out my old Kenmore from the attic.  My 1/4 foot doesn't fit on old Ken and I'm not real accurate without that foot because I tend to sometimes veer off course sometimes. So, I sewed up a few blocks this week that don't take much precision like these wonky log cabins.  They are nine inch blocks and I think I might have enough brown strings to make 30 blocks for a donation quilt.   And if there's not enough browns for 30 blocks I could probably mix in some black ones and dark blue ones.  We shall see where the scraps take me. 

And I made four 49 patches from 1.5 inch scraps.  I think cream colored fabric is just light light brown so usually mix it in with my brown 49Ps but this time I had enough brown scraps and didn't need to mix in very many cream pieces so they became a block all their own.  I have a bunch of brown 49Ps I've been collecting for a Plain Brown Wrapper quilt.  I think the cream one will go into the low volume pile. 

And finally, I took all of  the shorter pieces of brown 2.5 inch scraps that could make at least one pyramid cut, sewed those pieces together end to end to make a couple of long strips and then followed the pyramid quilt tutorial on the Molly Flanders blog. 

The long 2.5 inch pieces will be made into HSTs and then Depression blocks.  I'm saving the HSTs for when I get my plain Jane Janome back from the shop. 

The really short 2.5 inch pieces I just sewed end to end to get that strip on the end.  Not sure what those strips will become.  And I found the makings of one four patch in my scraps I will throw in the four inch kitchen sink pile of blocks. 

Everyone will be cooking up brownies with their scraps this month. Some might even have pink icing.  Go check for yourself.  You never know what you might see each ScrapHappy Saturday. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Which Way To The Chocolate?

Which Way to the Chocolate?
63 x 78

Machine pieced and hand quilted

I quilted with big stitching in a variety of threads from my stash -variegated brown perle #5 and perle #8, light brown 20 wt. 

I didn't mark any quilting lines. I just eyeballed about 1/4 inch inside each geese and then stitched in the ditch around the sashing and then stitched lines about 1/4 inch away from each other inside the sashing. 

I used a chocolaty brown muslin for the backing and it's kind of fun that you can see all of the stitching echoed on the back. 

It's been cold in these here parts lately so I'm ready now to cover myself in chocolate! 

I'm going over today to:

Monday, February 1, 2016

Marginalia (aka The Circle Game)

My January Circles. 
I finished a couple of books, we ate the last of our homegrown onions, my cousin's husband died, my oldest son turned 42, I looked through seed  catalogs, ordered seeds and received seeds.  I finished a quilt, I remarked on grandkids shoe skating on ice in the cornfield on a frigid day, played games with the grandkids...

...I suffered some very stressful days at work...

...felt crabby and blue...

...and I'm sick of robocalls.  Iowa caucuses are tonight so hopefully the calls will end. 

I've been making circles since Nov 4, 2015. I guess I now have 89 circles.  I need to start sewing them together. I want to keep them in order sequentially and think I have a layout in mind. 

Whose crazy idea was this?
Audrey of Quilty Folk
I can't believe the variety of circles being made out there in blog land. Oh what fun!

Kaleidoscopes, Butterflies and Kaleidoscopes of Butterflies

I've added 30 more butterflies to my Kaleidoscope of Butterflies.  (Did you know a group of butterflies is called a kaleidoscope of butterflies?)

I've been using waste triangles for the butterflies and blue 2.5 inch squares for the backgrounds. 

There's even some butterflies in the blue backgrounds. 

Linking up butterflies to:

And speaking of butterflies...did you know that Monarchs need Milkweed to survive?  I let it grow wild out back in my gardens. I took this pic during the winter of 2008. It's how milkweed looks out there this time of year.  

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Short, Bright and Skinny

Short, bright and skinny? No, I'm not describing myself except for maybe the bright part.  I'm talking about the strings I used up in this quilt top. 

It's 45 x 54.  I used some 5 inch b/w centers I've had laying around here from a swap long, long ago. 

Since this is wider than a width of fabric I'm thinking I will make one big happy block for the back and use some of my long strings around a big center. We'll see. 

My plain Jane Janome is in the shop for repair. I heard a clunk and that was it. No more sewing for me. And I was about 3/4 finished with free motion quilting my Fireworks quilt.   My husband helped me get my crazy Ken Kenmore out of the attic and I decided to give it a try while Jane is in the shop.  I haven't sewn on it since I made my daughter's wedding dress about 15 years ago and got frustrated with him and banished him to the attic.  I'm spoiled by Jane's 1/4 foot which doesn't fit on Ken so decided I would just sew on Wonky today where it doesn't make any difference if seams aren't perfect.  I finished up 8 blocks and then assembled the top.  And I'm kind of liking Ken again.  I might have to find space for him in the sewing room.  Right now he's hanging out in the spare bedroom.

This kind of quilt is a lot of fun.  It's a perfect pick-me-up for a cold, rainy winter day. Where else would Santa meet Spiderman? 

And, oh JOY...the spiders are after the chocolate while the monkeys and puppies look on and the reindeer hang upside down. 

When this gets finished it will either be a donation quilt or a car quilt. 
For Christmas  I'm making several "car quilts" to include with other items in some emergency/survival boxes for the car.   Other items to include in the boxes might be hand warmers, flashlight, small shovel, extra gloves,  whistle, jumper cables, salt/sand, multi-purpose tool...there's lots of websites out there with suggestions. 

Linking to:

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Blue 1.5

I've been making these little 3 inch spools since 2013. Maybe by the end of this year I will have enough for a large quilt. I figured I need 783 of them for a 81 x 87 quilt (blocks set 27 x 29).  And with these 15 spools I now have 630 blocks - 146 of them in shades of blue. 

While I was at it I dug into the 1.5 postage stamp collection and made three 49 patches. 

This is the last blue week for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Think I'll go see what everyone else has done to chase away the blues. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Looking Back...Are You Ready for a Good Laugh?

I really don't consider myself any type of quilter - Improv, Modern, Traditional, Crazy, Lazy, Wonky...that's me. (Notice the title of my blog is Sane, Crazy, Crumby?)   I'm all over the place. 

But, I guess in the beginning I was what would today be considered Improv. 

I made this blue jean quilt in 1992 out of the family's old blue (and other colored) jeans. I followed no pattern - just followed a whim. 

How do I know it was 1992? Because I embroidered it on this quilt. 
I wanted to practice some embroidery stitches on I didn't know what.  Worn out blue jeans were handy. 

For years we took it camping. That's back before we had the pop up camper and went tent camping. We sat on this quilt around many a campfire and I probably washed many smore's off of it. Kids would sit on it during the day and play card games. If it was cold we would cover up with it at night.  Or we would put it under our sleeping bags to keep the dew off of us.  I  have two other twin sized denim quilts out in the pop up camper we still use when we go camping.  Before camping they were bedspreads on the boy's bunk beds.  The camper is closed up for the winter or I would have gotten those out too.  

I tied the quilt with several strands of embroidery thread.  It has held up well but is now falling apart. It retired to the quilt rack hanging on the wall in the spare bedroom.  I don't know why. It was a learning experience and it is full of memories.   (By the way...I learned that it's not really easy to practice embroidery stitches on blue jean seams).  

Oh, and the back was a big piece of soft plaid flannel.  (Sorry for the blurry's windy and cold out there.) 

Ok, now let's go back in our time machine to the 70s. You can see the small  denim quilt next to the queen sized quilt made out of left over fabrics from back when I made clothes for the family.  I must have been ahead of my time. It sure looks like what today is called a jelly roll quilt.  (I really don't like jelly roll quilts if the truth be known). 

This quilt is from about 1977 and we lived in Florida then. I made this as our family beach quilt.  Four of us, ice chests, strollers, diaper bags, beach toys,  towels and other stuff fit nicely on the quilt. 

Mickey Mouse fabric was from one of the shirts I made my husband. I was going to go looking for pics of him in that shirt for proof but was too lazy to go through old photos. 

That flowery print was what I used to recover a chair I bought at auction.  Hey, it was the 70s! Anyway, it was a small chair and the fabric was probably too light weight but it is a little heavier than regular cotton and I'm sure it was a good price because we weren't exactly rolling in the dough back then. 

I estimated this as vintage 1977 because I see some little girl fabrics in the quilt and my daughter had some little dresses and sun suits made from some of the fabrics in this quilt.  (Actually this really isn't truly a quilt by the strictest definition of quilt but as far as I'm concerned it's a quilt) . We moved back to IA in 1979 and used this quilt for a couple of years at the beach so 1977 it is.  Again I have some pics of my daughter in clothes made from some of these fabrics.  And strangely enough...that brown calico sure looks like some fabric I just picked up for about $3 yd on clearance. 

To make this I cut (with good old fashioned scissors) the scraps into what looks like about 2.5 inch strips I had marked with pencil and ruler. I sewed those strips together (by color I guess. Wasn't that fancy?)  into long strips and sewed them to an old sheet using the sew a strip, flip, sew a strip, flip method to attach to the sheet.  I don't remember where I got that green plaid I used for binding...maybe from my step mom? 

I actually didn't pay any attention to what types of fabric I used...there's different weights and types; seersuckers and gauzy and some cotton/rayon blends. 

The old sheet I used on the back is yellowing now.  You can see it was old to begin with. I put a few "band aids" on the holes that were in the sheet and I didn't even bother to cut off the doubled over fabric of the sheet.  Remember, I wanted a quilt to spread out on the sandy beach. 

Ok. Here's the part where I show you this was actually made from scraps left over from clothes I made.  See that purple strip there?  And below it, on top of the quilt you can see...

...the shirt I made (and actually wore) with that fabric.  Go ahead and laugh. Yes, I still have it. I have a lot of the cotton shirts I made stored in a box to cut up and use someday in something. I used to cut them down and make things for my daughter until she grew up.  I think that shirt has shrunk about three sizes (or is it just me)?

Yes, I'm a hoarder. An improv hoarder.  

Do you have an improv story? 

Link up with  Ann at Fret Not Yourself or Kaja at Sew Slowly and tell your story.