Saturday, November 30, 2013

Brown Things

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge for 2013 is winding down for this year.  Brown is the color for this month and after that we are on our own to catch up on blocks or to assemble blocks in December. 

I used brown 2.5 inch scraps to make some Little Monkey blocks.  I think this makes 89 - 5 inch blocks for my collection. 

And here's some miscellaneous brown blocks. A 49 patch out of 1.5 inch scraps, an 8 inch Depression Block and a 6 inch heart block made from 1.5 inch scraps. 

To see what others are doing with their brown scraps visit SoScrappy's blog for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge linky party. 

Grab a Towel

Grab a towel and maybe some oxyclean to clean up some of those vintage towels that have been hidden away in a drawer for years. 

Sophie is having a Tea Towel Challenge in 2014. Why not join the fun? 

Join me for the Tea Towel Challenge 2014

And what towel will I be using?   The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Widow's Wedding Party

 Black Widow's Wedding Party
53 x 68.5
Double Wedding Ring Quilt

I used a vintage McCall's DWR Pattern to make my quilt. I've been working on a DWR for my granddaughter using that pattern so I'm familiar with it. I decided to join the NYC Mod Quilt Guild Challenge to practice my skills before I had to actually finish a quilt for my granddaughter who hopefully won't be getting married for quite some time. (She's only 9).

Most of the spider web, floral and insect fabrics were in my stash. I further limited the fabrics to black/white, green, orange and purple - not my normal color scheme. 

You may think spiders and their webs a bit creepy for a quilt; however, in Victorian times spiders and their webs were considered signs of good luck. 

I freemotion quilted some flowers in the arcs using my plain Jane DSM. 

And I quilted spider webs in the center webs.  

For some extra fun the quilting on the front glows in the dark. I used a combination of Superior NiteLite and Coats Glow in the Dark threads. 

I had my reservations about the quilt really glowing in the dark after all the trouble it took to use the darned thread on my machine.  (I usually quilt with cotton threads).  I don't have many vices; however, cussing when I'm frustrated or mad is one of them and boy, were the cuss words flying while I was quilting.  The threads kept breaking no matter how I adjusted the tension. Then I tried a topstitching needle and the breaks didn't occur as often.  I was going to rip out all the quilting on this section since that orange thread is actually the bottom thread you are seeing on top. But, between cuss words I decided it wasn't going to get any better than that and told myself it actually looked like dew drops on a spider web. Google "dew on spider web" images and you'll see what I mean. 

I do want to declare that the quilting really does glow in the dark and was worth all those hours spent cussing. 

And what kind of thread did I use on the back? Neon. Except that the purple isn't really neon, I guess.  These are a bit wild for me but I thought they would look good on black and add some fun. 
And they do.  You can really see the quilting that way. (And the quilting mistakes).  

This is the back but from this you can see how the quilting on the front will glow in the dark.  My husband tried to take a pic of the glowing quilt since he's a better photographer than I but he had no such luck.  

So, the back looks like a DWR too.  
The parts that look like they are missing are done in that purple thread. 

One last thing...I added some broderie perse applique butterflies to the top and bottom corners of the quilt. I was going to let them flutter free instead of tacking down the edges but I figured this will be a quilt for the grandkids to enjoy so went with tacking them down completely lest they try to rip them off - not that the darlings would dare to do such a thing. 

Oh, and the's full of spiders too. 

I'm here to tell you that making a DWR quilt is not at all as difficult as it looks although I did consider it a challenge.  But challenges always teach us new things, build new neurons in our brains, and sometimes excite us or make us stronger or give us a sense of accomplishment or confidence. 

Oh, and that leads me to wonder what category I should enter my quilt into for the NYC Mod Quilt Guild DWR Challenge...Traditional or Modern? 

I really haven't seen a good definition for a Modern Quilt. I don't even know why there is a separate distinction.  (What do you think?)

Well, this lovely Black Friday I'm linking up Black Widow's Wedding Party to the Traditional category of the NYC Mod Quilt Guild DWR Challenge.  If you want to see some beautiful DWR quilts you really need to go view all the categories of challenge quilts. 

And, after a finish like that maybe I should get a Whoop, Whoop at the linky party over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Tisket, A Tasket

I've made a few more baskets for this month's Block Lotto. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Slow Sunday Stitching and Stitching and Stitching

Today, as soon as I finish machine sewing the binding on this pile of 11 potholders I will hand sew it down in back.  Need to get these done so I can mail away my kitchen sets (potholder, embroidered dishtowel, crochet dishcloth) to some relatives for Christmas.  Some of the potholders are UFOs on which I practiced some free motion quilting stitching so might as well finish them up too. 

And after that is finished I will probably work on the embroidery on these hand stamped pillowcases. I think I found them quite a while ago at the thrift store and forgot I had them. My daughter collects "crinoline ladies" or "Southern Belles" so I thought I'd finish these up for her for Christmas. I stitched the lady's dress in blue on one and will stitch in pink on the other - kind of like a his and hers version. The best thing about the pillowcases is that they already have holes punched on the edge ready for some crocheted edging.  I just happen to have some white #10 crochet thread in my stash and a book on edgings I also picked up at a thrift store. 

And when all the Christmas sewing is done I'll get back to work on my Grandma's Butterflies. 

I worked on these 10 butterflies on my trip to and from Tennessee (20 hours)  last week for a mini family reunion to welcome back my nephew from overseas.  Applique and blanket stitch is finished. I just need to add the antennae and wing stitching and I think I will then be half way finished with butterfly blocks. If I remember correctly the quilt my grandma made had 48 butterflies. 

If you are doing any Slow Sunday Stitching why not celebrate at Kathy's Quilts Slow Sunday Stitching linky party.  There's some inspirational projects and eye candy for your viewing pleasure!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Broken Dishes and Pinwheels

I actually have quite a few brown scraps. This week I dug into the 3.5 inch scrap bin and made some HSTs for Broken Dishes...

...and Pinwheels.  Next week I hope to dig into the brown crumbs, strings and 2.5 inch scraps. 

To see what others are doing with their brown scraps for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this Scrap Happy Saturday check out the linky party at SoScrappy. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Nifty Thrifties

I have finally finished another UFO.  

We swapped these blocks with ladies of a Yahoo Group that no longer exists. We swapped blocks in a different color each month during 2009 after the block pattern came out in March 2009. 

The blocks have been sitting in a bin for years.  I have almost enough pink blocks for another quilt this size. 
No fancy quilting on this one. I just sewed on the diagonal through the black squares. I didn't notice while sewing the blocks together that a few of them have the black squares in the corner oriented the wrong way. I only noticed while quilting and left them that way.  I think the purpose of a quilt is to keep someone warm and pieces going the wrong direction won't change that. 

The backing fabric I wanted to use wasn't large enough so I used some swapped violet blocks. If  I use more of the violet blocks in another quilt then I won't have anything left in the violet block UFO bin and that's fine with me.  I swapped the violet blocks with ladies of the Block_swappers Yahoo group and the pattern is another one of Sophie's Block Lotto blocks. 

I think the violets go well with the background fabric. 

And it feels good to have another UFO finished! 

This was also my November goal for Lovely Year of Finishes. And it is indeed a Lovely Finish. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Only Four Blocks Left !

I've completed two blocks this month for my Crazy Cravings lap quilt. It's my Crazy Quilt Journal Project WIP for 2013.  I want 20 blocks and now have 16 completed. Blocks are 12 inches and will finish at 11.5.  I should have cut the foundations at 12.5 but didn't so that's why the odd size. 

Each block has some sweet embroidery.

Blanket stitches and french knots and ribbon and french knots stitched with two strands of DMC. 

A seam decorated with variegated brown perle #8.

A seam in herringbone stitch and detached chains stitched in variegated metallic thread and a seam embellished with feather stitch/detached chain/pistil stitches. 

A perle #8 brown flower and a perle #8 seam in straight stitches. 

November block #2

The embroidered motif. 

Gingham ribbon attached with cross stitches and a herringbone seam stitched with one strand (or was it 2?) of DMC and one strand of metallic thread. 

I think the basic seam is up and down buttonhole stitch and I added lazy daisy stitches. 

And finally...some trim tacked down with some straight stitches in each loop. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The First Time...

...I've tried a Kaleidoscope block. 

I've seen a lot of them in blog land over the years and have always wanted to try them but they looked pretty complicated to me. Then I found out there's a kaleidoscope ruler. I bought one with a 40% off coupon. The blocks are easier to make than I thought. I used 1.5 inch scraps in blue and brown for the kaleidoscope and blue and brown crumbs for the corners.  Block will finish at 12 inches.  I figured the crumbs in the corners would look kind of like all those little pieces that move around in the kaleidoscope until they assemble into  a beautiful image. 

The first time I've tried cutting and using bias strips. 

I normally stay away from anything to do with the word "bias".  But this month's Block Lotto block required it. And even though we are not required to make any blocks for Block Lotto I did. I've been craving some challenges lately.  I had to sew the bias handle on by hand since I really don't see well enough to sew it down on each side by machine.  I hope to get a few more made before the end of the month but this is a busy month. 

I'll be on the road tomorrow. It's a ten hour trip to my brother's house. We are having a little reunion to welcome home my nephew from Germany where he's been stationed for a couple of years.  I've prepped some Grandma's Butterflies to take along for handwork and downloaded a couple of books to my Kindle. I'll be back late Monday. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Slow Stitching Sunday

I've appliqued all 7 of my butterflies I made last week to my quilt.   I then made a bullion knot  (with between 15-30 wraps depending upon the butterfly) for the body.  The antennae are pistil stitches. I used 1 strand of #8 black perle and 2 strands of DMC glow in the dark embroidery floss.  The entire quilt is quilted in glow in the dark threads (more on that in another post later on) so I think the butterflies needed a bit of glow too.  Now I need to finish sewing that purple spider and web binding down around the 59x63 quilt and I'll be ready to show off my challenge project in more detail. So...I'm about ready to sit and relax and stitch down that binding. 

And if there's more time left before bedtime after that then I'll work some more on my CQJP 2013 Project - my Crazy Cravings lap quilt.  

The way things are going in this crazy world all of the foods in my quilt might well be banned in my descendants life times.   

Registration is open for Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2014 in case you are interested. I already know what my project will be! 

If you are doing some slow stitching this Sunday or want to see some awesome slow stitching projects visit Kathy's Quilts Slow Stitching Sunday. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

What Can Brown Do For You?



Finally! After two days with more hours asleep than awake and more liquids leaving the body than entering I was able to get up and sew a little this morning.  Thank goodness. I'm rarely sick but when I am it seems to hit hard.  Those darned grandkids must have left me a few cooties after their visit last weekend. 

Anyway...brown is the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month.  I made some 3 inch butterfly and 3 inch spool blocks from my brown scraps.   It's the same block...just different color placement.  That about uses up my 1.5 inch scraps.  But I have lots of brown crumbs and brown 2.5 inch scraps that I need to get used up. That won't be next week because I'm going to be visiting my brother who leaves near Nashville.  His son, my nephew, and family will be returning home from Germany where he has been stationed for several years.  A lot of family will be there to welcome them home.  It's a 9 hour trip so I need to round up 18 hours worth of hand work and/or books to read. 

For some brown scrap inspiration visit Scrap Happy Saturday at SoScrappy.   You will definitely see some things that brown can do for you! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

November Goal - A Lovely Year of Finishes

Just a quick post in order to document my November goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes. 

I want to get this really old UFO quilted and bound by the end of November. It's too dark here now after work to hang it on the clothesline outside in order to get a good picture so this inside shot of a wadded up quilt top on the chair will have to do.   The flowered fabric on the right hand side is the backing for my rainbow scrappy quilt (but there's more to the backing than meets the eye or the picture).  More details later when it's finished! 

So far I've completed all my monthly goals for Lovely Year of Finishes! Have you???