Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Owls in the Barn Door

Owls in the Barn Door
48 x 60
It's just a top right now.

I thought it would be clever to shoot the Owls in the Barn Door next to an actual barn door but didn't notice the hunk of crap that blew into the raspberry brambles in front of the barn door.  So, I am not as clever or artsy- fartsy as I thought I was.  

Anyway...after completed this will go to Camp Hobe, one of this year's Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge Charities.   Camp Hobe is a summer camp for kids undergoing cancer treatment and their siblings. 

12 inch Hole in the Barn Door Quilt blocks with owls in the barn door. 

Now to go piece some batting and find a backing...

Monday, March 20, 2017

Down and Dirty on the Farm

Down and Dirty on the Farm

From the looks of things I haven't worked on this UFO since December 2014 when I started it and made 8 blocks and rehearsed centers.     At that time I called it Garden Party but the fabrics I have been throwing in the box seem to depict more than just gardening so now I think I'll all it Down and Dirty on the Farm.  I was thinking of calling it Farmer in the Dell but I don't have any nurse or cheese fabrics.   

But I digress...I made about 20 or so more blocks yesterday; four of which make up a bigger block.  I still have a lot more blocks to make. I think I need 68 for the quilt in the book (Adding Layers by Kathy Doughty - quilt named House Party)  but mine will probably be larger.  And I'm still rehearsing centers for those bigger blocks.   I had some big veggie fabric in the project box I might use for some centers. 

And I also have some large floral fabrics that might be nice for some centers. 

I have fun working with colorful and fun novelties especially when it's dreary outside.  Normally I get bored with a block after I cut and make a couple. But these are fun.  And I figured out an easier way to cut pieces for the blocks (not cutting 4 1/8 piece in quarters for side pieces but using EZ angle ruler  to cut from 2.5 inch pieces the same as the rest of the block) so that process has sped up a little. 

 So the block making went on and on...

...and on and on...

 ...and on.     I'm ready to sew more blocks but am tired of them for now. On to the next project/UFO. I'll get back to this one later...hopefully before two years have passed. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

ABC, 123, Rainbow I Spy #1 of 5

I Spy #1 of 5
40 x 60

Ready to give as a shower gift next Saturday
(I just need to go buy a couple of books to include with the quilt. Books and a quilt...sometimes a stuffed animal or rattle are my usual baby gifts. )

I spy the color green, I spy something you can eat, I spy a bird, I spy the letter P...

I usually also include a couple of blocks with numbers at the beginning and end so you can find numbers.   The letters of the alphabet are iron on.  I iron them on after the quilting is done.  

I quilted it with spirals on my old plain Jane Janome since Brother Bob is not working very well these days.  I pieced together some batting and used some flannel monkeys on the back. I pre-washed the flannel since I knew it would shrink and darn it if it didn't shrink enough so that I was about one inch short in width so had to piece the backing.   Luckily I bought enough for several quilts.  

I had just enough of an  orange solid that matched the orange monkeys on the back so used it for the binding. 


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Red 3.5 Scrap Edition

Red is the color of the month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. This week I decided to work with my 3.5 inch scraps.   I did have quite a few red scraps; however, I've also been trying to move forward my old Florabunda UFO, a Bonnie Hunter quilt along from 2011, I think!  

These are actually 9 inch Jacob's Ladder blocks in floral fabrics on a yellow background inspired by a 1940s quilt. 

So the first thing I did was pick out a few red floral fabrics I haven't already used in my Florabunda blocks and make more blocks. 

And then I was left with some 3.5 inch red scraps to add to the pile so I can use the scraps up right away in my other scrap only blocks and not let those scraps linger!  (The 2 inch scraps are used later in some other blocks). 

Then I made some Glitter blocks (cut from 3.5 inch scraps some of which you may recognize from the Florabunda blocks I just made). The instructions for these blocks can be found in the book Quilt Lovely by Jen Kingwell. 

Then if there was enough of a scrap left for six inch Bow Tie blocks I made some of those.  And I remembered this time to use 2 inch pieces for the flippy corners instead of 1.5 pieces like I did on last month's Bow Ties.  I put a note in the project bag with them so I won't forget . 

The reason I get confused by the flippy corner pieces is because I always remember to use 1.5 flippy corners on my 3 inch snowballs because they might get combined with 3 inch Nine Patches which are made from 1.5 inch pieces.    I cut scraps for Bow Ties and then for Snowballs (if there's enough) at the same time and it seems in my mind they should use the same size flippy corners. But they don't (although I have seen instructions for six inch bow ties that use 1.5 inch pieces and others that use 2 inches. I guess I'll be using both.)

But I never forget about ScrapHappy Saturday

Friday, March 17, 2017

Of Irish Ancestry

Sometimes it's a holiday that helps me decide which of the gazillion UFOs I should work on. 
I made some 6 inch Nine Patches for my Emerald Isle quilt.  

Have I mentioned that my paternal ancestors were Irish? 
My maiden name was JOYNT. 

 I'm a descendant of David Joynt and Bridget McDermott of Ashfield Demesne, Beagh Parish, Galway, Ireland. 

(Genealogy has also been one of my hobbies starting way back even before there was a public internet, home PCs, Ancestry.com and back when  most microfilm readers were hand cranked). 

Did you notice the little Leprechaun in the nine patches? 
The employees I've supervised all these years gave him to me in lieu of a retirement card and they signed the back.  I was lucky to have hardly any turnover of employees...in fact most employees I've hired have worked for me anywhere from 10-25 years. I'll miss them. 

I have a little knickknack shelf of Irish whimsy and the Leprechaun has now joined the group. 

Well, anyway, back to the 9 patches and the Emerald Isle quilt. 

It's the center medallion of my Emerald Isle quilt celebrating my Irish ancestry.  The next part of the quilt involves lots of green nine patches.  

Here's a photo of the ancestral home in 1959...

...and here it is in 1976.    

Happy  St. Patrick's Day ! 

Thursday, March 16, 2017


The Sunshine Online Quilt Guild members make quilts for Quilts Beyond Borders and Wrap-A-Smile.  A monthly Lotto is one of the activities.   Each month members have the option to make  any number of pairs of 12 inch blocks of choice in the month's theme.   One block of the pair goes toward a charity quilt and the other goes into a Lotto drawing.   I haven't participated for awhile but decided to join in again.  This month's theme is GREEN.   From scraps I made two Tennessee blocks and two Nine Patch blocks and mailed them on their merry way. 

My blue scraps went toward four 8 inch Broken Dishes Stars

I haven't won in awhile but it's fun to try at least one of the block of the month. 

Of course my sewing machine is a year old today and out of warranty so what happens? It starts acting up...thread keeps catching in the bobbin....cleaned bobbin area, tried different bobbin, tried different spool of thread, changed needle, messed with tension...cussed a little...tomorrow is another day.   Now I'm hand quilting. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sometimes It's the Weather

Sometimes the weather helps me decide which of my gazillion UFOs to work on. 

SNOWFLAKES that finish at 7 inches.  Not trimmed. 

I need to decide on finished layout so I know how many more  I need. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Sometimes I Actually Cut Into New Fabrics and Don't Use Scraps

I call them Apron Strings blocks.  They finish at 8 3/4 inches and are a bit fiddly. I'm using my kitchen themed fabrics.  This has been a UFO for a long time so I decided to delve back into it and make a few blocks . I think I now have 26 or so blocks and am aiming for 36. 

The block is from the book History Repeated.  See it there on the front cover? 
The actual name of the block is Wheel of Fortune. 
My sashing will be gingham with chicken scratch just like those old aprons I have in my collection of old aprons. 

Now you know why I call my blocks Apron Strings. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

At The End of the Rainbow

At The End of the Rainbow
56 x 63

Inspired by Red Centre in Making Quilts by Kathy Doughty

This was one of last year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects. I made a few of the blocks (well, not really blocks - maybe call them units?) each month from 4.5 inch scraps. 

I didn't have much of anything in my stash that looked right for border pieces so did purchase a little fabric that seemed to go with a rainbow quilt - birds against a rainbow sky and a rainbow of paw prints.   I had some rainbow looking stripe fabric that I used for the binding but didn't have enough so used what was left of the birds to add the necessary length. 

I had enough machine quilting thread in all colors of the rainbow to use to straight stitch along the straight sides of the blocks and then also used white to stitch along each straight side of the white sections.   BUT I hand quilted in perle #12 along each zig zaggy sides of the colored sections in the neutral areas.  I really didn't want to have turn the quilt on my DSM in order to stitch along the zig and zags and found big stitching to actually be quicker and easier. 

I had this rick rack fabric in my stash meaning to use it with some 30s repro quilts but decided this was the right place for it.   BUT I didn't have enough after I so carefully matched the rick rack when stitching up the fabric to be wide enough (or was it to be long enough?)...anyway I had to cut a piece off one side to add to the back but still didn't have enough so those birds came out to play again on the backing.  And that's the way it goes...

Now I'll mail this(after I find the right box) to my youngest brother, Steve,  who lives far far away in a land called Florida. I hope it's a pleasant surprise to say I love you, I'm thinking of you and take care of yourself and your heart.    He unexpectedly had quadruple bypass surgery last year around Easter after he suffered two heart attacks.   

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Red 2.5 Scrap Edition

Red 2.5 inch  scraps were used in three 10 inch Lady of the Lake...

...one 12 inch sail boat, one 8 inch Depression Block, fifteen Flying Geese...

...three Sprouts (I may have enough of these for a quilt now since I've been making them with my scraps for a couple of years now)...
...six 4 inch Little Happies (I have a bunch of miscellaneous 4 inch blocks)...

...and six 6 inch Plus Blocks which are new to the list since I had a bunch of red 2.5 scraps left over. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

3+ Sheets to the Wind and Seeing Stars

Another top is finished! 
86 x 98
String Stars

I made one like this using my looooooong bright strings on navy background and liked it (it's on my bed right now) so decided to use my looooooong pale strings and make something similar. 

I chose a six pointed star so I didn't have to worry about Y seams. This is from a Fons and Porter book. Can't remember which one right now.  (I mentioned which one in some previous posts). 

Almost all of the loooooong strings came from quilt backing cut away from the sides of quilts. I use a lot of sheets from the thrift store for quilt backs so most of the stars are made from sheets like this one...

...and this one which also has a touch of muslin that I sometimes use as backing on my 30s quilts.  I even used some sheet bits for the light blue inner border. 

This star has some feather/bird bits left over from a backing on my Feather Bed quilt and bits of gray used on a "manly" quilt back.

This star has sheets mixed with blue bird and hyacinth bits used as a backing. 

And this one is a conglomerate of a wide cream colored tonal backing plus the large gingham bits and other parts from a small box of things my daughter brought me from a garage sale.  They were long pieces like they were someone else's quilt back leftovers. 

These are my favorite type of quilts to make.  I like to make something from practically nothing - repurposed sheets repurposed again into a quilt...thrift store and garage sale bits and pieces...scraps. Plus it was rather a challenge to make something I like from strings on the pale side.  I like challenges. 

And into the hand quilting pile it goes. 

And now you know why I titled this post as I did! 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Bright and Wild UFO Sighting

Bright and Wild
It's just a flimsy (finally).
It will be donated when finished.
39 x 58.5

I THINK I swapped these bright and wild happy blocks some time before 2012.  I found some Bright and Wild, Patriotic and Fall themed swap blocks in a box.    They are actually a strange size of Happy Block...they finish at 6.5 inches.  They are made of 4 inch centers and 2 inch sides. 

I had about 36 Happy Blocks from the swap so dug through some swapped 4 inch squares looking for 18 bright and wild pieces.  I had to cut into fabric for the 2 inch side pieces. I have a box of fabrics set aside for donation quilts so used those fabrics. Then I made more blocks. 

Then I sewed all of the blocks together. 

And that's where I'm at now. 

I probably won't get it completely finished until summer. 

For now it will reside in the donation top pile which is a step up from being hidden away in a box for years. 

And my sewing room is a little bit cleaner. LITTLE bit! 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Before I Could Even Think of Machine Quilting I Had To...

Before I could even think of quilting this on my DSM today I had to CLEAN behind my sewing machine.   YIKES.  I'm surprised I didn't find a mouse nest in there.  I did find my small scissors and a seam ripper that had been missing. 

I have my sewing machine set up on an old desk and behind that is a cutting mat 18 x 24 where I do all my rotary cutting.  At the end of that mat a LOT of stuff accumulates. 

These are the scraps after I spent hours sorting them into piles. 

Sheesh, where do scraps come from? 

On the left are all the 30s scraps which get their own pile no matter what size the scrap happens to be.  On the right are pieces for the chunk box (well, really it is a milk crate). 

On the left are 1.5 inch scraps. On the right are 2.5 inch scraps.  Each has their own respective scrap box. 

And then I have neutral scrap pieces (for a neutral scrap quilt in the works), a pile of pieces in autumn colors to be further cut (later) into pieces at least 3 inch long or so for my Pumpkin Peel (WIP) quilt, then there are strings that are at least 1 inch wide.   There's also a small pile of selvages in there somewhere to go into the Selvage quilt WIP. 

Then there's the rest of the scraps that don't fit any other category.  These will probably get made into crumb quilts (along with all the other boxes of unclassified scraps).  I'm thinking of making crumb leaves or bear paws in autumn colors.  That's another sort for another time. 

Any string pieces less than 1 inch wide go into the garden string pile. I use these to tie up things in the garden.  Sometimes the birds steal them for their nests. 

And the rest goes into the mulch basket.  I have some pretty colorful flower and veggie gardens.

And speaking of gardens...on quilting breaks I walk out and do a little garden clean up. 
Surprise, surprise. Crocus are up.  I planted a few years ago under a tree out back and over the years they have found their way all over the yard. I'm not sure if the squirrels dig them up and rebury them or what.  

The purple crocus are most prolific but I do have a few...

...yellow ones. 

I just finished cleaning up the asparagus bed and the spot where I'm going to plant lettuce and spinach so now it's back to machine quilting. 

Ah, retirement!!!!