Friday, January 17, 2020

Strings and Scraps, Snakes and Snails, Sugar and Spice

 Four new small tops to add to the mole hill  mountain of tops that need to be quilted. 

 This one is made of quarter log cabins and 2 inch scraps. 

In December I received a small box of scraps and some blocks. There were 21 Quarter Log Cabin blocks that were about 8 inch square unfinished. They all appeared to start with a 3.5 inch aqua square surrounded by 2 inch scraps.  I later found some starter squares were four inches or so so I trimmed them all to 8 inch square usually trimming the starter square to 3.5 inches.  There were also three blocks of that 21 that were missing one side. I added a 2 x 8 inch scrap from my 2 inch scrap bin and made sure those blocks were also 8 inch square with the aqua starter square trimmed to 3.5 inches.  I then made 3 more blocks from my own scraps so I had a total of twenty-four eight inch square blocks.  Then I decided I wanted the blocks to be close to 10 inches because most of the small donation quilts I make measure 40 x 60  and that's easy to do with 10 inch blocks.   That meant I needed to add two more rounds to the blocks.  My 2 inch scrap bin didn't have enough long lengths in it for 2 rounds so I decided to cut what was in there for the outside round.  I went to my scrap chunks and found some aqua pieces and cut those for the first additional round I needed to add. 
 I originally thought I would join four blocks together with all four aqua squares together in the center but that didn't look right to me when I started down that road. I ended up setting them like a stair step and was surprised when the aqua strips I added to the blocks joined up perfectly with the aqua starter squares.  That was a happy accident. I think this definitely flows now. 
 Strings
40 x 60
 I made these blocks back in December.   I used paper for the foundation so this month I finally trimmed the blocks and removed the papers and assembled the top.  These 10 inch (finished) blocks all came from my string bin.  I used black strings for the centers and bright for the rest. 
 This is another top that came out of the string bin. And, again, blocks were made in December and this month finally trimmed, papers removed and blocks assembled for a top that measures 40 x 60. 
 For these 10 inch (finished) blocks I used pink for the center string, brown strings went on both sides of the center pink, then I added more pink strings and finally finished off the blocks with browns. 
 This Wonky Log Cabin also came out of the string bin and used mostly skinny and shorter strings in red, white and blue. It measures 36  x 54. 
 I made these 24 blocks in December too. I originally thought I would make 48 of these 9 inch finished blocks so I would end up with a larger top. I trimmed the blocks since they were in the same pile as the string blocks and assembled them into a top forgetting my original thought that I would make more blocks. I remembered my original thought this morning when I saw the quilts hanging on the line and noticed this Wonky Log Cabin was smaller than the rest.  But this size is still okay for donation if I ever get it quilted. 



Sunday, January 12, 2020

A Finish and the Fab Four

 Sixteen Patch
40 x 60

A fat quarter challenge quilt to be donated to Quilts Beyond Borders - a charity providing quilts to under served areas of the world.  The National Quilters Circle has designated Quilts Beyond Borders as one of Ten Amazing Places to Donate Quilts. One of the ongoing initiatives has been to deliver quilts to children in Syrian refugee camps in Jordan and Greece.  In December hundreds of quilts were delivered to the Forgotten People of the Navajo Nation.  Other quilts may go to Comfort Cases or a Child Abuse Center. 

I belong to Sunshine Online Quilt Guild - a group of charity quilters who support both Quilts Beyond Borders and Wrap-a-Smile but members make donation quilts for many other causes as well.  Join us if you are interested.  
 Ok...so back to the quilt finish.  I mentioned this was a FQ Challenge quilt and the FQ I started with is that plaidish multicolored one in the block on the right.  That determined the colors I would use to make the blocks.  Most of these blocks were strip pieced and made from 3 inch width strips. 
It looked like Autumn colors so I backed it with a pumpkin harvest. I quilted it with some free motion leaves. I cut the binding from backing trimmings. I was surprised I had enough red solid in that backing trimming box. If what was left of the backing trimming after I cut off a 2.5 inch width was wider than one inch it went into the string box. 

FAB FOUR

I'm also a member of another online group called Stashbusters.  There's lots of games, tips and tricks to encourage use of stash and scraps and UFO finishes.  One of the tips has been to make a weekly FAB FOUR list of items to work on for the week.  I've never tried it because I thought I was pretty good about keeping monthly goals in my head but this year I thought I would give it a try. So last Sunday I made my FAB FOUR list. 



1. Make more blocks for UFO Wagon Wheel from 30s and solids started in 2013. I need 63 and counting the 7 made last week I now have 46 (I think). Pieces aren't cut. I cut a block, sew a block. 
Progress: 1. I completed all 17 Wagon Wheel blocks I needed toward my goal of 63. So I have enough blocks to start assembly.  Woohoo!! 


2. Work on 4.5 WITB (What's in the Box) quilt #1
Progress:  Whigmaleerie flimsy #1 60 x 84 completed.  In addition I worked on WITB quilt #2 which is a 4 inch finished Happy Block. I 

There were 145 little blocks in the bin and I figured for a quilt 40 x 60 I need 150.  I had a little bag with 27 centers already cut  so I picked out 8 of them and made 8 more little Happy Blocks although I only need 5 but I may have miscounted or made a wonky one or two.  These little blocks have 2.5 inch centers and 1.5 inch sides and I've been making them off and on for years and just threw them into the 4.5 inch parts bin. 



So now I have enough blocks to start assembly on a little Happy Block quilt.  


3. Bind two small quilts. Binding will probably be scrappy and cut from box of overflow backing trimmings. That means bindings will be made and strings added to the string box.
Progress: I started out this post with one of those quilts and blogged about the other called Autumn Stars on January 9

4. Make RSC green blocks from 2.5 inch scraps. 2.5 inch blocks include Dakota Farmer and an Hourglass block (because I just won 28 of them). Rest of 2.5 inch green scraps will be cut into 2.5 inch squares to make into 9 Patches and if pieces are less than 2.5 square they will be sewn together into strip for later Chinese Coin quilt. 

Progress: Made six Dakota Farmer eight inch blocks and 15 six inch Hourglass blocks.  Also made 10 Plus blocks and 7 Sprout blocks to finish up sets of blocks for old UFOs. Also made two green Crumby Hourglass blocks and two large Churn Dash blocks. Then cut rest of light and bright greens into squares and sewed strips from any remaining greens for later use in a Chinese Coin quilt. 

Bonus: piece backing for Spider Web. 
Progress: I pieced a backing for a Patriotic Happy quilt instead since it only needed one seam. Then I pin basted it. 

So, I ended up with two finishes, a flimsy, four sets of blocks ready for assembly, a pin basted quilt and lots of blocks.   I think I will continue this Fab Four.

For the week of January 12-18 my Fab Four: 
1. Make Flying Geese for sashing for old UFO Blind Man's Fancy Tea in the Rose Garden
Bonus: piece backings and/or assemble blocks into flimsies. 
2. Work on Strings. I have blocks for two small quilts that need trimming and assembly and have a string quilt in process that uses neutral strings. 
3. Quilt and bind Patriotic Happy
4. Make RSC green blocks from 2 inch scraps that include 16 patch, Single Wedding Ring, Little Houses and Wonky Stars.




Saturday, January 11, 2020

Green Scraps - 2.5 Inch Edition

 I dug into the light and bright (and in a few instances dark) green 2.5 inch scraps this week. 
I made some Dakota Farmer blocks.  When I hurt my back a few months ago I went through some old magazines and found instructions to make the Dakota Farmer blocks in Bonnie Hunter’s Addicted to Scraps column in the Nov/Dec ’13 issue of Quiltmaker. But I didn't follow the instructions. I used 2.5 inch scraps instead of 2 inch per the instructions so my blocks finish at 8 instead of 6 inches. 
 I also made some Hourglass blocks - the final block for Block Lotto since it has come to an end.  Lucky me...I won 28 of those six inch (finished) Hourglass blocks so I decided to make more for a twin sized quilt.  The Hourglass and Dakota Farmer blocks are the only two blocks I'm making this year from 2.5 inch scraps. 
 One of my old Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects made with 2.5 inch scraps is a Plus block.  I haven't worked on these in a long time.  I dug out the pile of them and found that if I alternated light and dark backgrounds I only needed 10 more blocks for a small quilt 42 x 54 (7 x 9 layout).  So I made 10 blocks. 
 And now the blocks are ready for assembly according to that secret code. 
 I've been working on Sprout blocks off and on evidently since March 2016 according to my blog.  Since I was in the 2.5 inch scraps I decided to evaluate what I needed to start assembling these blocks. What you see above is what I needed.  
 So now these blocks are ready for top assembly. I'm thinking the top will end up to be 52 x 72 - a nice comfort quilt size. 


I'm going to try this year to rid myself of all the scraps in the 2.5 inch scrap bin. So I'm going to cut anything left over after I make my Dakota Farmer and Hourglass blocks into 2.5 inch squares. 

 And if a scrap is less than a 2.5 inch square then it goes into a strip. I've been making scrappy strips in various sizes for a couple of years now so at the end of this year I think I'll have a nice (and probably huge) scrappy Chinese Coins quilt. 

After I finished playing in all the light and bright green 2.5 inch scraps I picked out a couple of small chunks of green and made two Churn Dash blocks that finish at a big 13.5 inches. 

Friday, January 10, 2020

Flimsy #1 from the 4.5 Inch Block Bin - Whigmaleerie

 Whigmaleerie
An odd or fanciful contrivance

60 x 84

This is flimsy #1 that came out of a bin of 4.5 inch parts and then some. 

It will be fun to see how many quilts come out of this bin. 

 For this first flimsy I decided to use blue and purple parts, orphans and squares cut from the 4.5 inch scrap bin.  Some parts like four patches and four inch HSTs are the result of various swaps over the years. 


 Some parts I made a few years ago while sorting through crumbs. I found a lot of waste triangles thrown in there so made little four inch pinwheels...
 ...and other four inch triangle blocks. 
 I didn't put anything on a design wall or floor. I first made some eight inch blocks like the Broken Dishes or Double Four Patches from the parts. Then I made some twelve and some twenty four inch blocks from the parts and I also made some blocks 3 x 6. 
 So I just kept sewing pieces and parts together until I had a nice sized comfort quilt top. 

It's always fun to see a quilt I've made like that when I go hang it on the clothesline and see the whole thing from a distance. 

On to the next...



Thursday, January 9, 2020

A Finish! Autumn Stars

 Autumn Stars
40 x 60
To be donated to Wrap-A-Smile, a Rotaplast partner. 

Rotaplast International, Inc. is committed to helping children and families worldwide by eliminating the burden of cleft lip and/or palate, burn scarring, and other deformities. 

This is one of the five quilts I made last year when I challenged myself to clean out a bin of "Autumn stuff".   It is the first of the five finished. 

 I quilted it with vertical squiggles and loops. 
The backing is a small piece of fabric I picked up at the thrift store many years ago. It still had a 45 cent price tag on it. I finally found the perfect place to use it and there was just barely enough of it so it was meant to be.  I made a scrappy binding. I used some brown backing trimmings. I cut the trimmings to 2.5 inches and if anything wider than an inch was left on the piece it went into the string box. 


Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Crumby Hourglasses

A couple of years ago I decided it was time to try to use up crumbs. I ended up making four quilts but I still had crumbs left.  I was thinking this year I need to concentrate on using crumbs again. 
I don't really enjoy making quilts with crumb block squares. I get bored. I like to use crumbs in different ways.  So I've been trying to decide on different ways to use them.  I'm making 12 inch nine patches with solids in red/white/blue.   So what else should I do with crumbs??? 

And then came the latest Ad Hoc Improv Prompt  - Hourglass.  You know how I just love challenges, prompts, games to move some scraps along. 

I decided to try some Crumby Hourglasses. I decided to make them of crumbs of one color and use a solid in a complementary color as the other fabric.   These ended up to be about 11 inches unfinished.   They were easy to make and I like them so I'm going to add them to my monthly list of Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects to make each month. If I make two each month I will end up with 24 at the end of the year and set 4 x 6 it will make a perfect sized quilt for one of the places I donate smaller quilts.  If I get the urge I may even make four blocks per month and end up with two quilts. 

 Here's the way I made them...Make a 12.5 inch square of crumb fabric. 
 With right sides together lay a 12.5 square on top of the crumb fabric and slice on the diagonal. Sew with 1/4 inch seam along the diagonal on each half to make two HSTs. 
 With right sides together, HSTs reversed but with seams going in the same direction nest seams and then cut on the diagonal. Sew those two seams together along the diagonal for two Quarter Square Triangles or Hourglass blocks. 




Monday, January 6, 2020

Rolling Along

I've added 8 more Wagon Wheels to my collection of blocks. That brings the total to 47 out of a goal of 63 blocks.  
This is the really old UFO (started 2013) I want to work on this month. 

I'll report this week's progress and blocks next Monday just to hold myself accountable.