Sunday, January 21, 2018

You Don't Have to Jump Through These Hoops

 I wasn't going to make a Slow Sunday Stitching post but Kathy challenged us to take a photo of our hoop(s) and I couldn't resist. 

This is the quilt I'm working on stitching with perle #8.  It's in a big hoop that sits on my lap while stitching.  It's big and not my favorite for hand quilting but I use it when I want to do a lot of rows at a time that are in close proximity so I don't have to constantly move the hoop. 
 I use small round hoops for most embroidery like this stamped card table sized table cloth I found at the thrift store.   This is a smaller project I work on in the summer when it's too hot to have a quilt on my lap. 
 Then there's this oval hoop. I picked it up with a bunch of hoops at the thrift store and never found a use for it until I started stitching chicken scratch sashing strips for a quilt I'm working on.  I like that it's long enough for me to get the entire length of the sashing in the hoop and it's narrow enough for me to easily stitch the rows. This is another summer project or something I pick up when my wrist hurts from too much hand quilting.  This is a different arm motion. 

This is another summer project or when I have the time to dig through trims and threads and feel like thinking about what to do on each six inch block.   Since these are six inch blocks and I like to use a  small hoop for stitching  but one big enough to stitch the entire seam without moving the hoop, I baste some scrap muslin around the block before putting it in the hoop.  The block with the cats is one I finished before Christmas but haven't posted about. I usually don't post about them until the set of four improv circle blocks is finished. 

This poor wrinkly thing resides in my Bug Out Bag (or To Go Bag) along with some yarns and crochet hooks for crocheting dish cloths.  It's a quick easy project to pick up and put down at a moment's notice. I found a bunch of these stamped embroidery projects complete with single color thread on clearance for about 1/6th the regular cost so snatched them up.  They are supposed to be pillows.    I like a small hoop for embroidery like this.  I haven't gone anywhere in awhile so wrinkly bird will go back into the bag and stay ready.  I probably shouldn't leave it in the hoop though. But...

And finally this PVC hoop is my fav for hand quilting. It's a lot smaller than the wooden hoop but it's perfect for quilting areas like I did on my Glitter quilt.   I'm still need to leave this hermitage and get to the store to buy a long needle so I can tie in the middle of the nine patches using blind tie or international stitch.  I was also thinking of tying in the center of the oval - ish area where I already stitched but I may just stitch  another row inside that one.  I love how the stitching there makes the nine patches pop out. 

where everyone is showing off their hoops today. 

A Finish: Homespun Fun!

 Homespun Fun
54 x 78
Machine quilted and tied

 Most of the Friendship Stars made of homespun fabrics and muslin were swapped long ago.  When Bonnie Hunter was running her mystery this year I decided to make the units she gave in the clues to advance some of my UFOs forward and skip the mystery.    Around the same time the Stashbuster Yahoo group was talking about an Irish Chain Challenge to bust stash.   And so that's how I decided to make the nine patch units and add them to the Friendship Stars in an Irish Chain layout. 

I quilted it on the diagonal in the muslin areas which left the star and nine patch homespuns  without quilting. That was okay for the nine patch blocks but left a little less quilting in the star blocks so I tied them in the center with perle #8. 

This will be a donation quilt for a guy when the time is right. Seems like a lot of male family and friends were hit by prostate cancers and such last year so I'll be glad to have one handy for giving although I hope I don't have a need to give it away under such circumstances. 

And now that I see this picture up close it looks like I might wash it again. The Color Catcher came out just a little gray and dingy looking with no color. I thought the muslin looked a little dingy but I chalked that up to using a gray backing and it possibly showing through to the front.  But now that I see the photo it looks like there might be a little bit of bleeding like around the green/blue star.  I hope it's just an optical illusion. It's difficult to wash quilts by hand around here now that I have the wringer washer.  (Actually, if you asked any of the men in my life if they saw anything wrong with the quilt they wouldn't even notice a little bleeding or dingy muslin. They would think something was wrong if it wasn't long enough to cover them properly while in a reclining position.) 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Feeling Blue and Crumby And That's a Good Thing!

I haven't actively worked on my crumbs since the first year I joined in with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge which was 2013.   I made several crumb quilts that year. 

This is another year for crumb quilts since I have several boxes of crumbs. Let's see how many quilts I end up with at year end.   I'm thinking of quilts in the size of about 40 x 60. You know...crumbs cost the same per yard as my other pieces of fabric so it's a shame to waste them. 

I started by sorting all the blue crumbs - light, dark, aqua.  Even though we are to use light blue scraps this month I wasn't going to go that far with sorting my crumbs so I'll be set for three different months. 

After I sorted out all the blues I then sorted them into larger pieces with straight sides for slab blocks.  I thought a four inch heart would be a nice thing to add to each 12 inch block.  This quilt (or quilts) will be called Heart of the Matter. 

And then I sewed together most of the irregular shaped pieces - a lot of them with angles - and ended up with a big piece of fabric. 

 And from Cathy's Crumby Confectionery Company - Blueberry Crumby Yummies - Sweet 8 inch candy blocks. 
 And from a galaxy far, far away    black hole in my sewing room...8 inch crumb stars. 
And some blue fish to rival Dr. Seuss's - these are Itty Bitty Nitty Gritty Fish.    In 2013 I made a larger version of the fish and ended up with a whole quilt of the little known Blue Sapphire Fish.  These Itty Bitty Nitty Gritties are their cousins but they come in all colors of the rainbow and not just blue.  

Above are examples of some of the 2013 crumb quilts - Crumb Stars and Blue Sapphire Crumb Fish.  I donated most of the quilts to Quilts Beyond Borders that year. 

Here's a pic of a little boy in Uganda (second from left)  who ended up with one of my quilts.

And a little girl in an Ethiopian orphanage received another.  She's the little one in front wrapped in the green crumb Bear Paw.

Got scraps or crumbs?
Rainbow Scrap Challenge ScrapHappy Saturday

Friday, January 19, 2018

A Tale of Birds in the Air - Chapter VII - Another Flimsy

The temperature was above 20 degrees this a.m. so I ventured out to take some photos.  Brrrr....
I've finished the third flimsy  in a series of Birds in the Air  block quilts. 

A Pansy For Your Thoughts
87 x 87

 Getting this to flimsy stage was my January OMG (One Monthly Goal). I can check that one off as completed now! 
I haven't pieced it together yet but I have several pieces large enough for a back I think.  The blue bigger print is wide fabric leftover from making curtains long long ago. 

 Here it is with the other two Birds in the Air quilts which were both very old UFOs until I started down this Tale of Birds in the Air.   Gosh, it would have been a nicer picture if my husband hadn't decided to park the camper in front of the barn after he winterized it but so it goes. 

I still haven't found any backings yet  in my stash for the one with the navy background (Old Birds) and the one with the white background (White Bird) and I'm on "no buy" for awhile trying to make do with what I have this year so it may be awhile before they get quilted. Time will tell. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

One Thing Leads to Another

Just for something different I like to try to make a few Block Lotto blocks every month.  

This month's Block Lotto block, Put a Frame Around It,  calls for some bright solids.  

While I was looking for some bright solid scraps I came across a lot of various sized pieces of pink solid scraps in a box of "girl scraps" - most left over from making clothes, quilts and pillowcases for the granddaughters when they were younger.  Rather than just use a piece of pink in a Block Lotto block I decided to use the pink scraps to make an entire quilt using the Block Lotto block because also in the girl scrap box were some bits and pieces of princess/castle scraps.  I had a bit of purple solid left over from making my pansy quilt top that was sitting out and so a little donation quilt top was born. 

It's been too cold to go out to the clothesline to take pics so I hung it over the quilt rack in the guest bedroom.  I should have closed the curtain...I didn't need a ray of sunshine in the picture.

It will probably be quite awhile before I get this quilted and before then I may add a pink/purple frame type border to the entire quilt similar to the frame in  each block to make the quilt a little bigger. Right now it measures 36 x 54 and I usually like to make the donation quilts for kids about 40 x 60.  I'm about out of pink solids so time will tell whether or not it gets a border. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

What's In The Box?

 This year I decided I would try to use up  all my holiday fabrics - a self-imposed Holiday Cheer Challenge.   I have a Christmas project box that I haven't been into for ages so decided to get it out and check the contents.  I didn't find a Partridge in a Pear Tree but did find: 

 56 Christmas Happy Blocks (swapped long ago with 4 inch centers and 2 inch sides)
 7 Christmas Happy Blocks (from who knows where with 4.5 inch centers and 2 inch sides)
 8 - seven inch Ornaments (in a bag along with some green background fabrics from the thrift store)
 1 Vintage Spin block (untrimmed and centerless.  I think I was going to make a Peppermint Twist quilt??? because I found the block on top of)...
 ...a pile of peppermint fabrics. 
 47 - Five inch swapped Christmas Charms
 14 Delectable Mountain blocks ( leftover from making a Delectable Mountain quilt of Christmas fabrics. Some blocks were swapped.)
 A big uncounted pile of 6.5 inch swapped squares. 
 29 - Four inch HSTs (left over from making a tree skirt plus three corner pieces cut off of tree skirt to make an octagonal shape. Not sure where fourth corner went???) 
 19 - 10 inch Roman Stripe blocks (I don't even remember making)

And that's the end of the box contents.  
So, what to do...what to do...

I made 34 more Happy Blocks to add to the 56 that were in the box.  Now I have 90 for a 9 x 10 layout (58.5 x 65).   This will make a third Christmas quilt for me. And that is how many grandchildren I have so when they get older and have their own homes they can each have one. 

I'm thinking about what to do with the rest of the box contents and my box of Christmas fabrics.  Time will tell. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Zig Zag Nine Patch Progress

I'm often inspired by vintage quilts. In December I posted about one that  I had seen online and that I had decided to make one like it.  This is my progress so far - about half way to a big quilt top. 

It is 94 inches long and consists of alternating columns of 21 and 22 three inch nine patches.  Four columns = 17 inches across.  I'm trying to keep the corner patches of the nine patches the same color in each column  but I think I'll have a few columns of a mixed variety. I'm using three inch nine patches from my boxes of nine patches that have been swapped over the years. 

A few people wondered how I was making it so what follows is an explanation of how I made the column above  with the black cornered nine patches between a red zig and a blue zag. 

First I made sure I had 21 three inch nine patches with black corners. 
Then I cut a 3.5 inch strip of red and a 3.5 inch strip of blue and then further cut them into half HST pieces.  
Then I chain sewed all the red half HSTs to the left side of the nine patches oriented as shown. 
Then I chain pieced the blue half HST to the right side of the nine patch oriented as shown. 
 My units looked like this and I ironed them pressing seams toward the HST. 

 At this point I will show you how the top and bottom of the columns look.  When I'm finished with the quilt I'll trim it 1/4 inch from the point of the green and blue nine patches slicing through the other nine patches 1/4 inch from the center. That will leave some partial nine patches.  Hope I'm explaining this correctly. 

I guess you could trim as you go along but that's just not what I'm doing right now. 

Now back to our black nine patch column. Our column top and bottom nine patches will look like the green column so they need an extra half HST added to the top nine patch of the column and a blue half HST added to the bottom nine patch like above.  
Sew the pieces together as shown above until... have an entire column made. 
Then sew your new column to the previous column.  (Yes, I'll trim the dog ears once the column as sewn together. It's faster for me to do it that way than individually it seems.)
And there you have it.  I actually clip the seam here and there so when I iron it everything will lie flat. 

I'm thinking I'll make about 20 columns.