Saturday, March 26, 2016


Jack's Chain
66 x 80
Hand quilted

I used lots of bright little 3 inch 9 patches. Some were swapped.  I've grown to love these little 9Ps. It's amazing what will sometimes show up in a little 1 inch square. 

I used lots of different colored threads and several size 10 quilting betweens. 

I quilted an X in the 9 patches and quilted about 1/4 inch around the inside of the triangles and in the ditch around the hexagons - all in navy thread.  I used a quilt stencil, white marking pencil and those different colored threads...

... and hand quilted in the center of those hexagons.  I'm thinking I should have stitched in the ditch around those triangles too because they kind of poof out around the edges but really don't see any sense in spending hand quilting time stitching a lot in the ditch where no one will see.  So poofy it is and poofy it stays. 

This quilt was a challenge for me in several ways. But I'm pleased with how it turned out. I was especially worried about the binding around a quilt like this but I persevered and got it done. 

This is the back.

This will go into the hope chest as a wedding quilt for my grandson. He's only 7 but he will get a quilt from me for his wedding no matter what.  I always like to plan ahead. 

And that makes 3 wedding quilts for my 3 grandkids.  They were all challenges for me and all hand quilted.  There's a Pickle Dish for Kayla (age 11) , A Double Wedding Ring for Isabelle (age 11) and a Jack's Chain for Jacob (age 7). 

Now, I need to buy a hope chest!

I'll be busy with grandkids tomorrow so later in the day I will link up to:

Purple 1.5 and Purple Crumbs

I made a couple of rail fence blocks from 1.5 postage stamps and muslin strips. I made a couple of these years ago after I saw a vintage quilt made of these plus had plaid sashing. I saved a pic of it somewhere on my computer.  Anyway, I decided to add these as one of my RSC projects so made one with January's blue/purple theme and March's purple/yellow theme. 

Also from 1.5 inch scraps I made a few 3" spools to add to the pile of 600+. 

And then I made a couple of Purple Crumb Butterflies - a rare breed, indeed. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Get Real

This Velveteen Rabbit was once part of a homemade Velveteen Skirt of mine. 
If you want one of your own Sally who blogs at The Objects of Design has a wonderful tutorial. 

And this Velveteen Rabbit also came from my Velveteen Skirt. 
If you want to make one of your own I found a tutorial at Purl Soho. 

You may or may not have seen all of the bunnies I previously made but here's some of them.  I now have them all together in a quilt top.  That is the part of this process that went improv. 
I knew I wanted the Velveteen Rabbit to be the last rabbit in the quilt (which was supposed to be baby quilt sized but more on that later).  I knew I wanted to use up the neutral 2.5 and 1.5 sized pieces I had leftover from making bunnies.  I knew I wanted bunnies to be staggered, not all in a row. I knew I wanted bunnies randomly facing different directions. And, I don't normally lay all blocks out on a floor and I don't have a design wall (that's an old cutting mat covered with a piece of batting I prop up to take pics) so I kind of put things together as I go and don't look back.  I know myself well enough to know if I had a design wall or I lay things out I move things around waaaaaay too much, am never happy and then never get anything done.  So....

I just took six bunnies and started putting them together for the third row as you see above. Yes, I started with the third row.  I figured if in some fashion I added two 1.5 strips and one 2.5 strip to the top and bottom of each rabbit in a random fashion and then added a 2.5 or 1.5 between rabbits I would end up with somewhat even rows. I did not measure strip before I sewed them to the rabbit blocks  - I just sewed and cut. 

Then I made the fourth row in the same fashion with Velveteen Rabbit the last block. 

And then, as the story can see row three and four sewn together.  And, if I had laid blocks out on the floor ahead of time or put them on a design wall those two teal bunnies would not be one on top of the other.  But they are. And that's fine. (Type A side of me - don't look. Cover your eyes with the improv hat). 

And then row two hooked up with rows three and four.  

And before you knew it...there were four rows. 

And remember...I didn't square anything up as I went...I just sewed and cut and sewed and cut and sewed. And, guess what...when I got to the very last row - the top row - I noticed that one side of the row was quite a big longer than the other side. Hmmmm....well, I hadn't noticed that the bunnies I sewed after I got my new sewing machine (gifted to me by myself for my very recent birthday) and didn't move the needle over quite right for 1/4 inch seam were a little bigger than the oldest bunnies I sewed on my old sewing machine that had a perfect 1/4 inch seam.  So, I kind of lined up both ends and folded in half and just kind of cut the bottom of the row so sides were even.  See that spot at the top where I whacked that is just shouting "look at me"?  (Type A part of me...don't look). 

And then guess what...there was about a 1 5/8 inch difference between one side of the quilt and the other side.   The darned quilt was way out of alignment because I hadn't measured and squared and measured and squared as I went and I had some big bunnies and some smaller ones  - blocks I hadn't squared up and I used scissors to cut strips off  instead of cutting precise pieces to sew to top and bottom and in between blocks.  So, I measured and calculated and cut precise 2.5 inch scrappy pieces and added them to the bottom and top and sides of the entire quilt.  And it was even all around.  And it became bigger than it started out to be (about 42 x 60) but it is still baby quilt sized if you ask me. 

And as the Skin Horse said to the Velveteen Rabbit:
"But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.”

And then I  put on my Improv hat and made some letters and then there were the words "GET REAL" ready to go with the fabric I'll use for the backing. (Disregard that stray thread or is it a stray hare? )

"Weeks passed, and the little Rabbit grew very old and shabby, but the Boy loved him just as much. He loved him so hard that he loved all his whiskers off, and the pink lining to his ears turned grey, and his brown spots faded. He even began to lose his shape, and he scarcely looked like a rabbit any more, except to the Boy. To him he was always beautiful, and that was all that the little Rabbit cared about. He didn't mind how he looked to other people, because the nursery magic had made him Real, and when you are Real shabbiness doesn't matter.” 

And that's the rest of the story about how an old homemade Velveteen skirt became Velveteen Rabbits and quilt top ready for some hand quilting love (after I piece together some batting and finish a few other hand quilting projects.)

When all is said and done this will be a quilt and toy for the hope chest for a future (very far into the future) great grandchild I may or may not get to know.  Oh, and I hope to find the Velveteen Rabbit book around here to put with it too. If not I guess I'll have to buy one. 

This is how I improv (improvise). 
What about you? 
Check out AdHoc Improv quilters linking up at Kaja and Ann's blogs. 

Also linking up to:

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Purple 4.5

I worked with my purple 4.5 scraps this weekend and I made 2 chevron blocks to add to last year's 2 blocks.  I'll sew them together for one purple row of a quilt. 

I made a few flying geese.  The "rules" I'm using for these is that the main part of the goose is the color of the month and if the color is a secondary color I use primary colors for the sides.   Not sure what I will do with these. I'll see how many I end up with at the end of the year. 

And finally, there's these purple 4.5 inch things.  I've seen various layouts for these. 

And that's about it for the purple 4.5 scraps.  Now on to the 1.5 scraps and crumbs.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Bunny Breeding 101


And now there are 27.

It's easy to breed rabbits if you follow Sally's tutorials at her blog The Objects of Design. 

Still no Velveteen Rabbit in the mix. Maybe there will be an appearance soon.

 I took off work the next few days to help husband with some outside chores (cutting down some dead trees for firewood, cleaning up gardens, taking down snow fences, clearing area for new chicken coops, etc [oh, my aching back, I'm getting too old for this]) but hope to sneak in a little sewing too.  So, there may be a Velveteen Rabbit before Easter.  Still haven't found the darned book, though. I'm thinking I gave it to my daughter (or she gave it to herself). 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Working on the Chain, Gang!

I'm making slow progress on Jack's Chain but slow progress is better than no progress. So far I've quilted an X in each of the 3 inch nine patches and quilted around all the little triangles and in the ditch around all of the hexagons. Now I'm quilting a motif in the hexagons and have about 1/4 of those completed. 

Just trying to keep stitches even and the middle of those hearts joined properly so they don't look messy.  And I'm enjoying my time with this quilt.  I'm in no hurry.  This will be a quilt for the hope chest - a wedding quilt for my grandson who is only 7.  (The wedding quilts for the granddaughters are already in the hope chest). 

Enjoying some Slow Stitching? 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Purple 2.5

This week I worked on the purple 2.5 scraps. 
First I start looking in the scraps for two long pieces for my two Interlocking Chain blocks.  These are 14 inch blocks. 

I usually find two pieces long enough for these in my scrap box but really had to scrape this time.  The one darker fabric on the left is probably more brown with bits of purple but I think it works with that lighter scrap which is brownish purple also. 

Then I look for pieces for my snakes.  I put the template on these going the long way on the scrap because the pieces are a teensy tiny bit longer than 2.5 but the width is not. 

I'm using brown backgrounds. These are snakes in the dirt...not snakes in the grass. 
Pattern is from Denyse Schmidt: Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration. 

Then I cut 2.5 squares for some six inch Twinklers. I've been making these the last couple of years and have enough for a layout 10 x 13.  I won't be using scraps for these anymore. 

Instead I'll replace the Twinkler project with Sprouts.   Last week Kathy of Kathy's Quilts  posted about her Sprouts and I decided that would be a great replacement for Twinklers.  So, I made two.   I also make 2.5 HSTs and make 8 inch Depression Blocks. I've been making them for the last couple of years also as scraps permit.  Maybe I should count them. 

Also, I found those wonky hsts in the scrap bag so made a wonky Broken Dishes block with them and the four patch fabrics were already sewn together so I just cut and made a couple of HSTs.  Those will go in the Kitchen Sink pile. 

Then - any small 2.5 pieces that are about Triangle size get sewn together into one long strip. I dig out some neutral pieces and then follow the tutorial on Molly Flanders blog.    I'm hoping I'll have enough triangles at the end of the year for one big Pyramid Quilt. 

The rest of the really small 2.5 pieces get sewn into strips. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with these but didn't want to throw them back into the scraps. 

For now there's only a couple of purple pieces left in the 2.5 scraps. 

And speaking of purple I found an elf out back sitting in a crocus patch. You never know where you will find that sneaky elf.  Truth be told I've even found him sitting on my bed!

The color of the month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is purple with yellow for accent.
 If you have scraps join in each ScrapHappy Saturday and show them off. If not, check out what everyone else is doing with their scraps in case you ever get some. 

For more scrappy goodness check out Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Bunny Hop

Sally who blogs at The Objects of Design posted a tutorial in July 2015 for left facing bunnies.  I made 5.  I was thinking I would make a baby quilt for the hope chest for a future great grandchild to go with the book Velveteen Rabbit, one of my favorite children's books.  The plan is also for one of the rabbits to be made from an old velveteen skirt I made for myself and wore for years and years until it shrunk (i.e. until I got old, i.e. until I put on a few pounds). 

Then, being reverse-a-pattern-challenged, I asked Sally if she would make a tutorial for a right facing bunny. And, being the wonderful person she is, Sally obliged and made a right facing bunny tutorial in Aug 2015.    But I never got around to using the tutorial until last weekend.  Now I have 5 right facing bunnies to go with the lefties.  I wasn't thinking when I made that wild rabbit in the middle. I thought the rabbit was going to be the darker brown and the arm and ears would be the wild fabric. 

So now there are 10 rabbits. I haven't figured out yet how many rabbits it takes to make a baby quilt but before I forget how to make both right and left bunnies and which fabric goes where I think I will try to get a lot more made this weekend.   When I made the left facing bunnies I added a 2.5 sashing piece in front of it. I'm not sure that will stay. 

In case you were wondering about that shrunken velveteen skirt that inspired the color scheme and will soon turn into a rabbit on the quilt as well as a stuffed rabbit (hopefully) here it is.  I can't seem to find the old Velveteen Rabbit book that will go into the hope chest with the whole mess. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Were You Wondering?

Were you wondering about the button that appeared one day on my sidebar? 

Surprise! Surprise! I'm a charter member of the Secret Society of Barn Builders!  

"The Secret Society of Barn Builders was established in late December 2014
by fifteen women from across the U.S., Canada, and Germany -- 
some with extensive free piecing experience 
and others new to the technique -- 
who agreed to “test” the process notes for Build-a-Barn 
by creating their own original free pieced barns."

No Pattern Construction

by the Master Barn Builder Julie Sefton 

Expected delivery date April 2016

(P.S.: I was one of the "others new to the technique" and rather apprehensive but Julie's process notes were enough to help me build a barn almost like the one in my backyard. It will be revealed later this summer.)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Block Lotto

Do you know about Block Lotto?

Sophie of Sophie Junction is the creative lady behind it all. 

I've made 9 blocks which means I have 9 chances to win a set of 48 blocks. 

I also made 11 violet blocks for my Old MacDonald Mystery Sampler Quilt Along. 

So far the sampler has Birds in the Air blocks, Snail Trail blocks and now Violet blocks. Since it's a mystery only a little of the layout (not like above which is just random) gets revealed each month.   So far we have a little sky and a little ground cover. What will be next? 

Oh, and did I mention that sometimes you can win a set of blocks? I was one of several lucky winners of 50 Birds in the Air blocks in January.  So far I've received 47 and have decided on a layout...but first I have to make more.  Another quilt to add to the UFO list!  And believe it or not I already have a Birds in the Air UFO - birds of a different color (hand dyed solids) and background (navy).  Mind you, I'm not complaining.  

Maybe I'll win some violets. You don't win if you don't play!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Stars

And with these six inch Twinklers I now have 130+ - enough for a 60 x 78 quilt. 

I've been making these with my 2.5 scraps each month for a couple of years as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project. 

If you would like to make your own the original place I saw the block with instructions was at Claudia's Quilt Shoppe.   This would be easy to change for any size of scraps. And the best thing is that there are no points to match and they are quick to make (unless, like me, you only make a few a month). 

Lots of scraps have now found a home. Quilt top coming soon. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Purple "Bits and Pieces" Star

Purple with yellow for accent is what Angela has chosen for the March Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month. 

I cut these purple triangle pieces from odd shaped bits and pieces of scraps - 32 light purple and 32 dark purple.  

If you have scraps you will want to visit:

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Butterflies, Kaleidoscopes and Kaleidoscopes of Butterflies

Did you know that a group of butterflies is called a kaleidoscope? I didn't know until last year when someone left that comment on my blog.  Later Ann, of Fret Not Yourself, posted about a kaleidoscope quilt she was making and about butterflies and I commented I was thinking of making a kaleidoscope quilt with some of my butterfly fabrics.   

And then we decided to have a monthly linkup promoting butterflies AND kaleidoscopes. 

I've added to my butterfly kaleidoscope blocks this month.  

I've been trying to make the same numbers of X and + blocks but some blocks aren't contrasting enough to tell which is the darker of the two fabrics, one a butterfly and the other a floral.  I think it will all work out in the end. I've been making the corners in different blue florals. These are 10 inch blocks. 

I was going to add a tutorial this month of how I make kaleidoscope blocks and some tips on making them. I took some photos but that's as far as  I got. Maybe next month. 

I also worked on my waste triangle butterflies.  I've been trying to keep blue TOT fabrics cut and ready for whenever I have some waste triangles so I stay caught up. 

And now I have 89 four inch butterfly blocks.  I was thinking I will stop at 300 or so. And then I was thinking when I assemble them I will assemble in another group of four blocks and add some waste triangles to the center of that group for even more butterflies. 

photo from my garden 2008

And in the real world of butterflies...
Are you interested in attracting Monarchs and other butterflies to your area? 
Then you may be interested in the site Monarch Watch