Sunday, November 17, 2019

Its a Finish! Bitcoins

84 x 84
It's a finish! 

I tried to take some pictures yesterday but it was partly cloudy, it was cold and it was windy so this is as good as it gets. 

 Except for chunks, strings, selvages and crumbs my scraps are sorted by size. This quilt was made from 1.5 inch scraps. From my blog history it appears I started combining a 1.5 x 2.5 inch colored scrap with a low volume scrap of the same color and just made 2.5 inch unfinished squares for the Parts Department around May 2017 as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project.  I figured I could use them for a border, to make Four Patches or Whirlagigs someday when I had enough of them. 
 Around July 2017 I played around with the little squares and somehow ended up sewing them together by color into blocks of three columns and seven rows probably because I had at least 21 little squares of several different colors.   I called them 21 Patches even though there were 42 pieces. 

By November 2017 I was calling them Whatchamacallits because I was not sure what to call them but those blocks needed a name. 
 Sally of Objects of Design started making some blocks and by September 2018 she had a whole quilt top of them. She called hers Bitcoins and I thought that name was clever and more descriptive so my 21 Patch turned Whatchamacallits turned into Bitcoins. 

 In June of this year Bitcoins became a flimsy (or top if you prefer) that consists of 3528 little pieces of fabric if I calculated correctly. It was a charm quilt until it wasn't. I intended to use all different colored scraps and each time the Rainbow Scrap Challenge came around I only cut one piece off of each scrap that was in there; however, since it took me several years worth of scraps to get all the blocks I need a scrap may have been in the 1.5 inch scrap bin from year to year so there are repeats. 
 And then I finally put it in the hoop and started big stitching with ecru perle #12 that I had on hand. I didn't mark anything. I just big stitched about 1/4 inch either side of the lengthwise seams. 

The quilt fits perfectly on my bed and since it is square it can be oriented any way on the bed. 
I used wide muslin for the backing and muslin scraps for the binding. 
When I hand quilt I usually use Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 batting. 


Thursday, November 14, 2019

Its a Finish! Gallimaufry

56 x 80
It's a finish!
 This was inspired by a c. 1890 quilt top found at Rocky Mountain Quilts described as follows:
"This is a whimsical original rendition of an Irish Chain, which to follow the pattern needs to be viewed from a distance. How amazing would this be in a great room over a fireplace? this quilt was obviously pieced by someone who loved calicoes. No solid colors here. The fabrics date from 1860 to 1890, giving us the creation date of this piece. This is a quilt top for a fabric junkie. There are many patterns pieced on this top. Variation of diamond in a square, old maids puzzle, bow tie, broken dishes, four patch, all combined together creating the most unusual Irish Chain I have ever seen. All pieced by hand, and ready to quilt."
 I made four inch finished blocks from scraps.  In order for the chain to show when finished I used muslin and some white scraps for one half of the HSTs. 
 I just love all the secondary patterns that show up. 

 In a quilt like this with lots of small pieces I think all scraps play nicely together...Halloween, Patriotic, florals, geometrics, 30s, men's shirts...
 ...and its always fun to see what shows up in itty bitty pieces of fabric. 
 I also used muslin for the binding hoping it would help accentuate the muslin chains in the quilt. 

 I quilted it on my DSM with some clam shells that look a little wonky. It's the first time I've tried them.  I started at the bottom of the quilt and made the clam shell arcs sideways across the width of the quilt. I used each 2 inch space as my guide. Those squares got either half an arc or whole depending upon row.  So all completed rows were always at the right of the needle. 

 When I got to the middle of the quilt I turned it around and quilted the arcs sideways in a different direction with the rows of finished arcs to the left of the needle. 

 The clam shells are little wonky but I'm okay with that. 

After the quilt is washed they will crinkle up and disappear into the fabric a little more. I only have a wringer washer so didn't feel like getting it washed up yet since washing and drying a larger quilt around here is a lot of work. 

The backing is one of those Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements collage fabrics I just love. Its called Cigar Box Labels. I happened to make a quick stop at Hobby Lobby for thread a couple of months ago. While there I always check the sale bin It was my lucky day because Cigar Box Labels was in the sale bin for $4 a yard so I bought all that was left on the bolt which was about five yards. 

The reason I like this particular fabric is because I used to collect tobacco related ephemera like these cigarette silks and cards. We've been doing a bit of remodeling lately and I think this quilt and all the tobacco related items that includes a couple of ash tray tables, art deco cigar ash trays and cigar trade cards and magazine advertising would look good in a spare bedroom we are turning into a sort of office/computer room/library/ genealogy and scrapbook storage area. 


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A Fat Quarter Challenge

Happy Blocks
40 x 60 

I found a fat quarter with some wild dogs in it to use for the challenge. 

 I made 10 inch (finished) Happy Blocks and along with the wild dogs I used some other dog related fabrics for the centers. 
 I thought I had enough of the green polka dot and the orange/yellow stripe to use for the block borders but didn't so made do with some other stripes and polka dots from stash for the rest of the block borders. 

I quilted it on my DSM with spirals. 

Monday, November 11, 2019

How It Happens

 When I'm sewing I don't listen to music or audio books or TV. I listen to the voices in my head if they are there otherwise I like the sounds of nature outside or silence. 

The other day when I was making Bear Foot blocks with those Autumn Scraps I happened to think about being Bare Foot at the Beach. Bear Foot...Bare Foot...see how that works?  And before I forgot about the idea I rushed off to my  beach fabrics and pulled some fabric that looked like sand and sea and made a few blocks. Oh, yeah...and IT happened...a new start...Bare Foot at the Beach. 

I've mentioned it before that I sometimes browse the Ladies' Art Company Block Tool to figure out what to do with scraps.  Just as an FYI the Bear's Foot and Bear's Paw are listed as two different blocks in the Tool but I've seen both blocks referenced as Bear's Paw. 

Also the other day while I was sorting through Autumn fabric and scraps I came across an Autumn themed charm pack and jelly roll that I won at different times a long time ago as well as a small bundle of quarter yards of Thimbleberries fabric someone recently gifted me.  I set those aside to be used in some project after I finished up with my Autumn Stuff scrap bin. 
Then it just so happened that someone with the online Stashbuster group posted a link to a Fragments of Cloth pattern at Sentimental Stitches.   Oh, was meant to be...a way to use those precuts I set aside.   I was inspired by the picture of the quilt but have to admit I did not buy the pattern because I could figure out how to make my own version without the pattern. If I couldn't figure it out then I would have made the purchase because I do love the quilt. 

 In addition to the precuts I pulled out some old swapped four patches from the Parts Department. And look! of them matched the fabric in the jelly roll. Someone named Linda made the four patch. It wasn't made by me. Weird, huh? But, oh yes, this quilt was meant to be. 
I also pulled some civil war reproduction scraps to use and picked out the ones that looked like Autumn. 
 In between other projects I've been cutting and sewing...sewing and cutting...
...and I have most of the parts ready for top assembly. 

 When I went into the sewing room this morning I asked that voice in my head what I should work on because I have so many choices. What to do? What to do?  It's Veteran's Day...
...why not work on those Kansas Troubles blocks in red, white and blue. 

And so it happened. 

Friday, November 8, 2019

What WAS In The Bin?

And now I know...flimsies (or tops if you prefer) for a whole bunch of donation quilts. Or do you call them charity quilts? Or comfort quilts? I never know what to call them. 

 The forty-two Happy Blocks that finish at 6.5 inches were combined with some leafy yardage and set on point for this quilt that measures 67 x 77. 

 These blocks were from a long ago fall themed swap of Happy Blocks. I wanted to try a different layout for the blocks so set them on point alternating with squares of the same fabric. I don't have a lot of fabric that is of any length unless I purchased it on sale intended for a backing. Those leaves was one of those purchases. Since I used it on the front of a quilt instead of the back I then felt compelled to make a scrappy pieced backing for this one. 

 This is the scrappy pieced batting that will go with it. 

 I used those four large crumb maple leaf blocks that were in that "Autumn Stuff" bin and bits and pieces of other Autumn themed fabrics from the Autumn themed fabric box. 

 This quilt measures 63 x 84 and consists of 21 inch Bear Foot blocks as they are called in the Ladies Art Company Block Tool.  Bear Paw is a different block in the Tool.  
 I used 48 of those 88 - 6.5 inch squares that were in the "Autumn Stuff" and used a variety of different leafy neutrals for the backgrounds and HSTs. 

 Fifteen more 6.5  inch squares from the "Autumn Stuff" were used as Sawtooth Star Centers. 
This quilt measures 40 x 60 and stars finish at 12 inches. 
 I picked the more tone on tone or geometric squares to use in this quilt so was not confined to using just autumn themed fabrics for the backgrounds and star points. 

Other squares with pumpkins I put in a drawer with some Halloween fabrics to be made into a quilt later for my granddaughter who was born on Halloween and just celebrated her 15th birthday. 

 Next up is the top made with those Arrowhead Puzzle blocks left over from a long ago swap. swap. I had thirteen of those Arrowhead Puzzle blocks and pieces cut for 10 more. I cut pieces for one more and ended up with 24 blocks. I set them 4 x 6 which gave me a very odd sized 48 x 72 quilt. I have been trying to make more twin sized donation quilts this year so added borders to make the top 60 x 80.  I had almost enough of a  leafy light colored batik that I used because I thought it would help make the colors in the blocks and the block pattern stand out a little better than a darker border.  
One of the reasons some of those 13 swapped blocks were orphans was because some swappers just didn't follow directions. Background for the blocks was supposed to be light neutral and that wasn't always the case.  I stuck those down in the bottom corner but now I'm kind of thinking they would have been better up in the middle. But that didn't happen and so it goes...

And that about used up the "Autumn Stuff" bin but I was on a roll and had the box of Autumn themed fabrics open so dug through the Orphanage (orphan blocks, if you prefer) for blocks in autumn colors. 
 Four rows of six inch-ish blocks and three rows of eight inch-ish blocks and a few 2.5 inch strips of orange leafy fabric later... 
 ...I had a 40 x 60 quilt top. 

The "Autumn Stuff" bin is now empty except for a few odd 6.5 inch squares I'll probably cut into smaller squares. 

For now I've added them to the scraps left over from all this quilt making. Most are 3.5 inch pieces destined for the 3.5 inch scrap bin but there are ends of fabrics probably destined for the string box and other small pieces in there too.  I will deal with that stuff later in the week.

I also ended up with a pile of scrap chunks that will go into a milk crate of scrap chunks to be used in current and future Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilts. 

Oh, and this is all that is left in the Autumn themed fabric stored in a big old desktop computer box. These all have trees and I will probably use them as a backing for a Tree of Life UFO or Improv Tree UFO.  I can now put them in a much smaller box. 

 Most of the other fabrics in that computer box now are on the shelves with other fabrics in the same colorway - greens, yellows, oranges, browns, reds...
...and neutrals.  No need any longer to keep them separated by theme. And I have several pieces of that seedy looking brown fabric I think I can piece together for a backing. 

Empty boxes and bins, oh my! 
And the UFO list grows. 
That was a fun Autumn Adventure! 
Now back to my regularly scheduled piecing...