Sunday, January 29, 2017

At The End of This Rainbow is a HEART of Gold

Heart of Gold
It's just a top right now

When finished this will go to my youngest brother who unexpectedly had a quadruple bypass last year shortly after Easter.   It was unexpected because he's not overweight nor does he have high blood pressure.     At any rate I hope this quilt reminds him to stay heart healthy and that I love him and his heart of gold. 

I made these blocks (or I guess I would call them units instead) from 4.5 inch  scraps last year as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project.    You know (if you are a regular blog reader) I usually don't lay out my quilts (on my floor - no design wall here)  but instead sew blocks together randomly but this rainbow configuration I decided upon meant I had to lay blocks out and then, good golly, Miss Molly, I had to make sure I not only sewed them together correctly but sewed them together pointing in the right direction.  Sheesh!  It didn't all go so smoothly and I have to say I became reacquainted with my old seam ripper that has grown lazy but in the end I have a rainbow trail. 

My inspiration was Kathy Doughty's (of Material Obsession) "Red Centre" quilt. 

This is a UFO I hope to finish up this quarter. Since I now have a top I'm getting closer to that goal!   I'm not sure what I will use for the backing and I hope there's enough rainbow fabric left for the binding.  

Check out what everyone else is doing with their scraps at: 

My February OMG (One Monthly Goal) is to get this finished!! 

I didn't make my February OMG goal so now it's my March (One Monthly Goal) OMG to get this quilt finished!!  

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Purple Chunks, Strings and 4.5 Edition

15 inch Burgoyne Surrounded
From purple scrap chunks (and a little turquoise) 

Improv Circles 
Also from purple chunks (plus a constant of red/brown that will be used in all monthly blocks)

2 10 inch String Blocks
1 - 4.5 inch wide strip

A lot of the time I use a muslin foundation with my strings, a constant center string and sew on the diagonal ala Heartstrings but I didn't want to use a foundation for my strings this time.  Instead I decided to cut the long strings into 10.5 inch pieces. I decided on a 10 inch block because these will be used in donation quilts and most of the time the child sized quilts are 40 x 60.   That means I only need 24 blocks (2 a month) and I'll have a donation quilt (and a lot less strings).   I'm still using a "constant" in each string block which is the black polka dot fabric.  I cut the rest of the strings into 4.5 inch pieces and sewed a strip.  No plan for this strip right now other than using up string scraps. 

Flying Geese
From the 4.5 inch scraps I made a few Flying Geese.  These are continuing on from last year.  If the RSC color of the month is a secondary color I use primary colors for the sides and vice versa.  I guess I should count these up but I'm not even sure of a layout or quilt size at this point. 

8 inch Broken Dishes
I didn't make these HSTs.  I already have a small box of miscellaneous 4.5 HSTs leftover from other projects and swaps.  I decided to clear these out so if I found matching sets for some Broken Dishes blocks I made those otherwise I ...

...just sewed them together into a couple of 12 inch HST blocks. 

And that's about it now for the purple scraps! 

Got scraps? 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Rock a Bad Hair Day

I was having a bad day at work today.  (My hair is always bad). Someone noticed and gave me a Dove chocolate. And guess what the wrapper said on it inside..."Rock a Bad Hair Day" ! So I TRIED to do just that.  (I always obey instructions from chocolates). 

Now that I have picked up my repaired sewing machine (fix at no cost because it is less than 1 year old) and am home from work and will be off now through Monday I think I will fix myself a hot chocolate and go sew some more Selvage Blocks like these I sewed the other day on my old Kenny Kenmore.   

Sometimes a girl just needs a little mindless sewing (and chocolate) to Rock a Bad Hair Day. 

I have to admit that a Purple Cow sighting also rocked my bad hair day and made me smile. 
Thanks, Sally! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Improv Circles

Purple is the color of the month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  This is one of my RSC projects I experimented with last year and am continuing on this year. For the blocks I used scrap "chunks" - pieces at least 8.5 inch square.   I use the RSC color of the month plus red and brown chunks (my constants) to make my blocks.   Don't ask me why red and brown - I guess it's because I saw the most chunks in the milk crate of chunks in those colors.  I stack four pieces right sides up and make 3 free form circular cuts.   Then I re -stack the cut pieces in no particular order and sew them together again into four blocks then trim each to 6.5 inches for a six inch finished block. 

I'm warning you right now that this will be a loooooooong term project because I will only be making one or two sets of four blocks per month and only if I have scrap chunks in the color of the month.    Won't that be fun? 

And who knows what the final layout will look like.  I may keep the four blocks of a set together and sew a sashing in between or not...

With last year's yellow and orange RSC project blocks. 

They may just all get sewn together plain and simple. Or maybe some type of sashing will be inserted elsewhere. Or maybe the sets of four won't be kept together and blocks will all be mixed up instead. 

Or maybe...the layouts are endless...

Ad Hoc Improv Quilting with:

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Hand Quilting

Hand stitching my Triangle Stars.  Right now I'm stitching 1/4 inch inside each triangle with regular hand quilting thread.  I'm moving right along on the 12 stars but one of these days I'm going to have to figure out what to do in the background spaces.   I'm thinking some eight pointed stars in those four patch sections but not sure about the HST area where the star points meet.  Any ideas? 

Stars were last year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge project and were hand cut from miscellaneous sized scrappy bits and pieces. 

I'll have time for lots of slow stitching projects since the hand wheel on my sewing machine (Big Brother)  froze up yesterday.   I'll take it in for repair tomorrow on my way home from work.  If I really need a sewing fix in the meantime I still have old reliable Kenny Kenmore and Plain Jane Janome who always has tension problems.  
But I'm okay with hand quilting and some simple embroidery  for awhile. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Purple Waste Triangle and 1.5 Scrap Edition

Butterflies and Wonky Stars
I have a small box of waste triangles. Seems in past years waste triangles went in and never came out.  I started using them in a "Confetti Waves" quilt on red, "Butterflies" on blue and late last year I started making little Wonky Stars with them (4.5 inch finished).   I pawed through the box to look for some purple waste triangles but they seem in short supply.   I added some b/w ones I had sitting on the sewing machine desk to the mix.  

I've been making these 10 inch postage stamp blocks for a couple of years now.  I only need a few more and I can assemble a quilt.  I cut a postage stamp from every piece of purple I could find in the 1.5 scraps.  For the one on right I had to mix in some gray and obviously I mixed in some green on the second one. 

I made some little 3 inch Rail Fence blocks from any piece of 1.5 purple scraps I found in the box. 

(Hey! These are a lot easier than those Spools and Butterflies I made for several years!)

 And I made some 3 inch 9 Patches.   Because who can't use a few of those? 

Got Purple Scraps? 

Friday, January 20, 2017

For Wrap-A-Smile

Girls in Pink
40 x 60

I have a large bag of pale strings I've been working from. Most of the strings are leftovers cut from the sides of quilt backings.  I've been throwing strings in there for several years.  I am working on a large String Star quilt from some of those strings.  In the bottom of the bag I found a couple of large pieces of novelty fabric with little girls on it. 

 So I cut some 6.5 inch blocks for some wonky log cabin centers, used some of the strings from that large bag of pale strings, and turned them into a quilt. 

I pieced together some batting and found a piece of a solid pink sheet in my stash for backing. 

I'm not sure if you can see it well enough in the photos but I quilted it with some free motion three-petaled flowers and loops on my DSM. 

I actually had some leftover binding in  different shades of solid pink. So that got used. 
I'm getting a little better at binding on my DSM.  

This will be donated to Wrap-A-Smile.    Wrap-A-Smile is a partner of Rotaplast International, Inc. an organization committed to helping children and families worldwide by eliminating the burden of cleft lip and/or palate, burn scarring, and other deformities. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

In The Hoop: Triangle Stars

Triangle Stars is now in the hoop.  
If I remember correctly this one is 54 x 72. 

I was going to start hand quilting my BIG Dresden quilt but when I got everything all laid out I found my pieced backing was about 2 inches too small. DARN!  The backing and batting I had pieced together for this one was just right.  So I'm now hand quilting this one. I always have to have something in the hoop or I fall asleep right after dinner.  I try to hand quilt the larger quilts in winter and the smaller ones (if any) in summer since I don't have air conditioning. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Vintage Butterflies: It's Finished!

Vintage Butterflies
79 x 90
Hand quilted

My inspiration was the above quilt I found when researching "vintage butterfly quilts" a few years ago.   This block is actually called Beggars Block.  The individual blocks within each block is actually a 3 inch spool block. 

I started making the individual 3 inch butterfly (or spool) blocks from 1.5 inch scraps as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project in late 2013 (I think).   When I accumulated 8 butterflies I made a block.  When I had enough blocks I made a quilt.  When you use scraps some quilts are not a quick make. 

I used Kona Candy Blue (blue candy?) as the background/sky. 

I normally don't lay out my blocks before I sew them together. I really don't like to spend time moving blocks around endlessly because no layout seems pleasing.    I don't have a big space to easily lay blocks out nor do I have a design wall (except for that old cutting mat with the piece of batting on it propped up on the wall next to the sewing machine).  So I usually sew blocks together randomly.  I'm rarely disappointed. 

I should never add sashing without cornerstones because sometimes things just get a little wonky. The good thing is that it all works out in the end somehow.  This quilt will give warmth same as a perfect one.  

I hand quilted in a variety of colors of regular quilting thread.  I didn't mark anything but the center butterflies. I just stitched. And stitched some more.  I have a callous on my "underneath finger" to prove it.   The stitching served as a kind of quilty yoga to soothe the soul, clear the mind and calm the nerves. 

After a good wash and some time in the dryer the quilt came out more crinkly than usual. I think that's because the backing fabric, a sheet from the thrift store,  was pre-washed and the fabrics on front were not.   Thank goodness I like crinkly. 

Now, about that backing. I found a sheet at the thrift store in a pale blue, in perfect condition and silky soft. Must be a far higher thread count than what is on my bed. I was a little leery about using a sheet on a quilt I was going to hand quilt because I wasn't sure how easy it would be to hand quilt. Not to worry...the needle went through it like a knife through butter.  And as a side benefit the back looks like a whole cloth quilt. It's difficult to get a good picture but all of the different colored threads on the pale blue are joyous. 

Lots of scraps in this one so linking up to:

And since it took a month of Sundays to hand quilt linking up with:

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Purple 2.5 Edition

Lady of the Lake
10 inch block
This week I worked with the purple 2.5 inch scraps.  I have a box of all different colors of strips of scraps 2.5 inches long.  They get in there various ways - I use other than scraps in a project that requires a 2.5 cut of fabric or I get to the end of a piece of fabric and all that's left is 2.5 inches and maybe a little string.  Anyway...I used up most of the purple in the 2.5 inch box because I actually have very little purple in my stash. 

I'm making Lady of the Lake blocks this year. Two of them will be made in light/dark RSC (Rainbow Scrap Challenge) color of the month and two of them will be color of the month plus a color analogous on the  color wheel- this time blue.  6.5 inch centers will be cut from chunk pieces (yes, I have a scrap chunk crate). 

I tried out this block last year when the color of the month was orange. I used yellow for analogous color.  Here's how some of the blocks look together so far. Yes, I like them. So, I will continue this year making Lady of the Lake blocks. 

Also last year when color of the month was orange I made a 12 inch ship block.  I belonged to a "birthday club" where members make a requested birthday girl's block of choice and sent it to birthday girl in her birthday month.    This ship block was birthday girl's choice. I found it easy to make and cute AND I have a piece of ship fabric perfect for backing what will be this baby sized quilt. I'm using a variety of blue backgrounds...may even add gray...don't know yet. 

Each month I'm going to see if I can move toward finishing any UFOs with scraps from the color of the month.  I won some six inch Split Nine Patch blocks last year from Block Lotto.  They were made in purple, gray and white tone on tones.   So I made a couple of blocks from scraps but actually had to cut some purple 2.5 inch pieces because these are made with tone on tones and most of my remaining purple scraps after making the above were NOT tone on tone. 

So now I think that brings me to 54 blocks and that will make a baby sized quilt.  I have a piece of purple to use as a border. 

Another Block Lotto win last year was six inch Birds in the Air blocks.  These blocks are made in tone on tone purples and blues with white.   So, since I made some new 2.5 inch scraps from making the above blocks I immediately used them to make six birds in the air blocks. I'm going to make a big quilt from these and will probably use blue tone on tones to make more blocks for this quilt. So watch for same blocks in RSC blue month. Otherwise you won't see these blocks again for ScrapHappy Saturday. Merely trying to move a UFO forward this month. 

6 x 13
I made the three sprouts on the left. The two on the right were made last year from my purple scraps. It's kind of fun to compare scraps from year to year.  I actually don't know where I'm going with these blocks so maybe I should figure that out now since these are rolling over from last year and I have different numbers of blocks in each scrappy color. 

Now I'm down to some miscellaneous blocks and parts. 
I made two eight inch Depression blocks. I've been making these for several years. I guess I should count the stack. I like big quilts so sometimes it takes awhile to get there when you make a few blocks each month from scraps.  But what's the hurry? 
The second row of blocks goes into the four inch parts department. Gosh, I have a big bag of 4 inch parts. I've been throwing things into there for years.   And the bottom row is a strip of wonky HSTs leftover from Lady of the Lake.  Usually I throw wonkies into the crumb pile but I decided to make a strip from them. I have "made strips" in various colors and sizes so will now add to them with hst strips.  Use to be determined later. 

Speaking of strips...I made one with the ends of some purple scraps. 
I also have been making triangles following the tutorial on Molly Flanders. I have a LOT of these. I guess I need to figure out the diagonal measurement of the quilt I want to make and then figure out how many of these things it takes sewn together to make that measurement. 

And that's the Purple 2.5 Scrap Edition. 
Got Scraps? 
 (a Rainbow Scrap Challenge link)

Friday, January 13, 2017

2017 Finish-A-Long: The Goals for First Quarter

It's time to declare some goals for 2017 Finish-A-Long.  I have so many UFOs it is always rather difficult to narrow them down.  

1.  Butterfly Garden - hand quilting is almost finished. Binding is made. 

2. and 3.  donation quilts - need to piece batting and find backings and get them quilted and bound. 
4.  Selvage quilt - want to make a big one but need more blocks first. 

5. and 6. More donation quilts in the top stages

7. Split Nine Patch - I won a bunch of blocks from Block Lotto in purples and grays. I need to make a few more blocks and then put it together. 

8.  Fractured. I call mine Frazzled. I'm stalled. I don't think I like that center column for some reason.  I will probably have to switch it out. This is made from scraps leftover from another quilt - can't remember which one right now. 

9.  I need a few more pieces for this one. I forget what the one in the book is called (I think Red Center) but it is from one of Kathy Doughty's (of Material Obsession) books. Mine is going to be a rainbow version and have something a little different for the center. 
10. Starz - This has been on my FAL list for several quarters. Maybe this time I'll actually finish it.  Blocks are from a long ago swap. 

11.  A really, really, really old Mystery Quilt.  I actually have it pin basted and ready to quilt on my DSM. 

12.  Rosebud. This was on my last FAL list but I haven't done a thing with it. And I'm not sure how I want to proceed. I need a few more blocks. This is going to be a big quilt. 

13. Spools. I am dithering about how to quilt it - hand quilt or machine quilt on my DSM. 

14. Snowflakes - Need a few more blocks and then some other things.  This will be a lap sized quilt - maybe 60 x 80? 

15. Dresdens.  I think this one will be next in the hoop for hand quilting.  Haven't decided upon backing yet. 

16. Baskets, Baskets.  Blocks from two different swaps and two different sizes. All are in 30s repros. I need to add some strips to the smaller blocks to bring them up to size of larger blocks. And I think I need to find where I put these blocks!

17. Sunny Lanes - swapped blocks in cw repros. I need to make more blocks. 

18. and 19. and 20. and 21. and 22.  -  5 ABC I Spy Quilts.  Two nieces and two nephews' wives are expecting babies this year. One of those nieces is having twins!  I just happen to have 5 sets of ABC - 6 inch blocks from swaps.   I've made several ABC quilts for other babies in the family and after these 5 quilts my ABCs will be wiped out. I guess I'll have to start swapping again.