Monday, September 29, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop - Do You Think You Know Me?

Last week I was tagged by Sophie of Sophie Junction and Block Lotto for the "Around the World Blog Hop". Sophie, through the Block Lotto, has challenged me this year with some of her monthly block choices to try some new things. If you haven't checked out the Block Lotto please do so!
I'll try not to bore you too much or keep you too let's get on with the questions and answers.

1. What am I working on? 

If you are here and actually reading this then you probably already know the answer...I'm trying to rid myself of the fabric I've been hoarding in my sewing room before I'm buried alive under a sudden avalanche of said fabrics.  As part of that process I start at least two new projects a month and may finish one started in previous months years ago.  

2. How does your work differ from others of your genre? 

I really can't decide if I am from the comedy, fantasy or horror genre of quilters. With that said I guess my work differs as follows:

a. I think each quilt needs to have one or more novelty fabrics included. I call that the smile factor.
b. I never throw away any scraps. Never ever. Not a single scrap. The fairies that reside in my gardens take them and use them for mulch as you can see in the photos below.  The fairies have taken it upon themselves to take up residence in the base of a small sundial in the miniature flower garden. See the fairy door?

c.  When I take my bra off the minute I get home from work I feel liberated. I've never had that same feeling when I've worked on a quilt. 
d. I don't sew with jelly rolls or layer cakes; however, I may make them and I definitely eat them. 

3. Why do I create what I do? 

a. Because I want to have something to barter with when the zombie apocalypse occurs. 
b. Because color is my drug of choice.
c. To stay warm. My house is heated by wood. That's a lot of wood to split and the lazy fairies refuse to help with that. . 
d. To keep from choking someone.  To relieve stress. 
e. So I have something to take to the nursing home when the time comes. With all those quilts of novelty fabrics all of us old folks in our second childhoods should be able to play a fairly decent game of I Spy once in a while. 

4. How does my creative process work? 

See something, sew something.  

Okay. Now I get to tag a couple of lovely ladies for an "Around the World Blog Hop" post next week.  (Not everyone refused my request).  I met both of these very talented ladies via the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. 

Carla of A Few of My Favorite Things does the most beautiful, gorgeous, awesome, inspirational applique work you have ever in your life seen.  And she also does the most beautiful, gorgeous, awesome, inspirational hand quilting too.  She inspired me to make a Pickle Dish quilt and encouraged me with her sweet comments when I first attempted hand quilting.   

And then there's Sally of The Objects of Design.  She has a menagerie of the cutest critters you will ever see. But watch out...those critters may be cute but they are also mischievous. I enjoy reading about their misadventures.  Oh, and I'm envious of some of her good and evil novelty fabrics although I hope I never see some of those evil fabrics up close and personal. 

Choose Your Own BlockAlong

I'm going to join the "Choose Your Own BlockAlong". 

One of the projects I've started is Trail Mix by Maybeth Oxenreider. It consists of 5 different blocks. Block A is a simple four patch made of 3.5 inch squares.   I'm hoping to use up a lot of the chunks of fall fabrics I've accumulated.  I finished up the required 32 four patches and I'm on to the next block which I think is a double four patch. 

I'm also going to be making some red and white blocks of my choice. I have 12 - 12 inch blocks from a swap and I'm going to make more 3, 6 and 9 inch blocks  to add to the 12 until I have enough for a bed sized quilt. 

I also have 12 swap blocks from a 30s reproduction birthday club swap. I requested  any 12 inch star block in any color of 30s  fabrics on a blue background.  Needless to say I'm going to be making many more 12 inch star blocks until I have enough for a large quilt. 

So, I've chosen Trail Mix blocks,  a variety of red and white blocks and 30s reproduction star blocks for my BlockAlong.   I usually have so many projects going and so many UFOs that this BlockAlong may keep me focused on finishes if I have a goal to link up each week with some progress. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Finished Big Stitching. Started Little Stitching.

I've finished the big stitching with navy perle #8  on all the baskets. I stitched 1/4 inch inside all the basket pieces.  I don't think that's enough quilting for my satisfaction so I'm now hand stitching in the ditch between blocks with regular quilting thread and stitches.   I didn't want to use big stitches anywhere else than the baskets.   I'm also thinking of doing regular hand quilting on the basket contents...maybe outline some of the food and flowers.   Maybe...

Doing hand work today? 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Snowball/9 Patch UFO is Finished

60 x 72
Snowball and 9 Patch Quilt
A UFO Finish!!!!! 

All of the 9 patch blocks are made of snowflake fabrics - even the white.
All of the snowballs are made of snowman/woman fabrics. 
I quilted it on my plain Jane DSM with a swirly circle (well, most times a lopsided circle which I guess really wouldn't be a circle but a blob) in each block. 

Can you tell I don't have a design wall? Look at those three red snowballs all in the same column. (Well, I know the recipient won't even notice or think it a problem). 

For the backing I used a flannel sheet with snowflakes on it. 

I was supposed to finish this for my daughter last year for Christmas but she will get it this year instead. 

She actually wants a lap quilt to throw on her couch to represent each month of the year or a holiday.  (Yes, she likes to put those clingy decorations on the windows too).   I guess this will represent  January.   I have another Valentine UFO that will be for February.  And that may be as far as I ever get with her lap quilts.  Hey, I just noticed this quilt is red, white and blue.  Do you think that will satisfy her for July? 

 I was # 31 at the September goal setting party. 


Orange Lozenges 
from scraps.
Finished size 2 x 4.5
Too lazy to try to make them stick to a piece of batting wrapped over my propped up cutting mat just so I can take a picture. 

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

I'm ready for a new color. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Testing, Testing...1,2,3 !

Testing, testing...1...



Decided to give these fabrics a spin. 
Ok...block is easy to make and I kind of like these fabrics together.  Testing is over.  A quilt will be made.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

At the Crossroads

And the UFO saga continues...
Arkansas Crossroads
I made four more 16 inch blocks this weekend.  
The quilt will be queen-sized. 
I wait until I have some neutral scraps for the Xs and some blue scraps for the X corners to make more blocks.  I had blue snowflake scraps left over from the Snowball Nine Patch quilt I was supposed to get finished up this month.  And the neutral scraps were left over from the green Dandy blocks I've been making to use up my green chunky scraps. 
I always have a box of 2.5 inch scraps to cut and use for the 16 patches.  I'm not sure how those scraps get into that box.  I'm thinking fairies are to blame.  More on those fairies later. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Another UFO I hope to finish as a Christmas gift for my daughter who wants some holiday lap quilts.but doesn't want to bother to learn to sew so she can make her own holiday quilts.  
I have no idea why I ever started this since making these 6 inch blocks is very very very boring. 
It will be 60 x 72 if it ever gets finished. (It will...I swear...this year)
I need 120 blocks total and now have 80. 
Hope to have it finished in October. 
I have all fabric cut and have not made a dent in my Valentine fabrics. 

Updated October 6...
To have at least a quilt top completed by October end would be a nice goal for ALYoF. 
I just remembered I haven't posted an Oct goal! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Trying to whittle down my 30s reproduction stash (two big tubs) so worked up a few more blocks to add to this UFO. 

Now up to 50 Tulip blocks. 
I'm making a Full-Queen sized quilt. 

Not sure if I will sash or not sash.  And if I add a sash I'm not sure what color. 
Not sure if I will set them like the above or...

...on point. 

Decisions, decisions...always decisions. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Road to Lampasas

I added 5 more Road to Lampasas blocks to my collection. 

And for one of them I had to make a substitute! 

These are large 15 inch blocks. 
Even if I had a design wall I don't think all the blocks I've made so far would fit. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Suggestions Anyone?

Every Sunday Kathy of Kathy's Quilts hosts a Slow Sunday Stitching party where slow stitchers from miles around gather to share their projects. 

This week I have an orange Dresden block I need to applique to the background. I made the block from scraps as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and couldn't decide on a background color. I have lot of different gray fabrics so gray it is.   But, I still haven't decided on a clever center circle for my rainbow blocks to be.   

Suggestions anyone? 

I'm still working on big stitching my baskets.  This is a large quilt. I think it's about 60 x 80. The backing is that flowery fabric with writing on it over on the right. 
When I'm finished with stitching around the baskets I'm not sure what to do next because it will still need more stitching.  Maybe a stitch in the ditch between blocks? 

Suggestions anyone? 

And finally...I may start on some of these cross stitch ornaments I've picked up from the thrift stores over the years.  Some of them may just be small enough for me to see well enough to finish.  I probably will finish off the ornaments in a different way than intended. I don't think I like those plastic frames included with some of them.  But I'm not sure yet exactly how I'll finish them off - IF I ever get any of them finished.   The shoe box full of these things has got to go.  I wiped enough dust off the box to fill a small pillow. 

Suggestions anyone? 

Slow Stitching? 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Orange Redux

Orange is the color of the month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. 
From orange strings I made an 18 inch Wonky Log Cabin...

...and four 8.5 inch string blocks. 

I made my orange Sunbonnet Sue postage stamp block.   (I like how her shoe kind of ended up looking like she's walking in leaves). 

I made 5 orange Twinkler blocks and a green one I had set aside and forgot to make last month. 

And I made some 3 inch 9 patches and 4 inch four patches for an upcoming swap in October with Block_Swappers Yahoo Group.    I think that is the very last scrap of that pastel bunny fabric left over from a baby quilt I made long, long ago. 

Got Orange Scraps?
This is the month to use them up and then link up to  ScrapHappy Saturday.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dyslexic Paper Piecing, Poltergeists and Dust Bunnies

Once upon a time Queen Sophie of Block Lotto Land declared that the block for the month of September would be Sweet Dreams. 

Little did she know that for Old Gray Maiden construction of this this block would be a nightmare. 

First try was too 1/2  inch too big. Old Gray Maiden had a difficult time printing the template for paper piecing the correct size.   Queen Sophie accommodated Old Gray Maiden with a .pdf file that still would not print properly on two printers at home.   Then Old Gray Maiden tried a printer elsewhere and the template printed just right. 

Old Gray Maiden was not really a fan of paper piecing but that was because she had not really had much experience with it.   So Old Gray Maiden accepted the challenge and went off to her castle to sew. 

First, she cut the pieces for the paper piecing a tiny bit too small.   Then she started over and had the fabrics reversed (red was supposed to be in the corners) . Rip it.  Then she tried again and had the fabrics wrong side up. Rip it.  Then the poltergeists appeared and Old Gray Maiden's Janome DC2010 started sewing by itself  even when her foot was not on the foot pedal.   Old Gray Maiden knows that usually when the poltergeists appear the machine needs cleaning.  Yep, that was right.  Several Big Giant Dust Bunnies leaped out of Old Gray Maiden's machine even before she could get the screws from the needle plate loose. Several more Big Giant Dust Bunnies had made a nest inside her machine and she ran them off.  And all was well again.  

Old Gray Maiden then sewed and sewed until all the papers were covered.   Then when she ripped the papers off  and several of the fabric pieces fell into her lap.  Old Fair Maiden didn't notice her tension was not right when she sewed and sewed. So, she quickly sewed the pieces back together whilst they were not on the papers. 

And then Old Gray Maiden hand appliqued the circles before she noticed...

...that a corner on each block was bad.  And lots of cuss words could be heard throughout the castle and Old Gray Maiden's hair grew even grayer. 

So, Old Gray Maiden waited a week and tried again. 

And what do you know...Old Gray Maiden made a block that was just right. 

And then Old Gray Maiden made 6 more blocks for her Queen Sophie of Block Lotto Land designed Mod Mod Quilt. 

And the moral of the story is Old Gray Maiden  is very stubborn and loves a challenge and will not be defeated or maybe it's something like" if at first you don't succeed  try try again".  

If you like to learn something every once in a while, like a challenge every once in a while, like fun every once in a while, like to win blocks every once in a while, well, why not join the Block Lotto community. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lest You Think It's All Bright and Wild Around These Parts...

...I'm using up my dark 3 inch 9 patches in a Jack's Chain with neutral hexies and connecting triangles. 

The dark 9 patches didn't seem to play as well with the brighter ones in this Jack's Chain WIP.

I guess I'm a glutton for Y seams. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Pickle Dish and Spinning Stars

I finally finished all 72 arches for my Pickle Dish quilt and now have started putting the blocks together. 

And before I forget what I was going to do with the leftover pink, orange, yellow and teal/navy fabrics I made an 18 inch Spinning Star block to see if I liked it.  I think I do.  For now, anyway. 

And, that's what's on my "Cutting Matt Propped Up Against Wall and Covered with Leftover Batting" (aka makeshift Design Wall) this fine Monday. 

To see what other folks have on their Design Walls visit Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Still Big Stitching

Well, you can't really see the big stitching going on in this photo but it's happening.  Right now I'm using navy perle #8 to big stitch around the basket parts. 

In crochet news...I usually make the grandkids a stocking cap and scarf each year for Christmas. I saw these balls of textured yarn with a pompom on top and thought they might be unusual and cute.  Package said it would make a small adult hat and instructions were included. I started crocheting the hat. Instructions said to keep on keeping on until yarn was almost gone.  Well, that's what I did. No way in H..E..Double Hockey Sticks is that a small adult hat.   And, now that I look at the price I paid for the darned yarn that should make a small adult hat I'm really mad.  I hope the stuff was on sale and I didn't pay full price. If I did I must be getting senile. 

At any rate I found some yarn left over from crocheting dishcloths and figured it might match enough so I can finish up the small adult sized hat I thought I was making.  Don't know what I'll do with that pink stuff.  If I was a "returner" I'd take it back from whence it came...pompom and all.  But I'm not a "returner" and besides, it would probably take the same amount in gas to get to the other side of town  from where I work to return it. 

Well, instead of slow burning I need to get back to some slow stitching. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

I Think I Need a Bigger Box

I finished up two quilts for donation to Wrap-A-Smile, a partner of Rotaplast International, a non-profit organization that treats children with cleft lip and palate anomaly who otherwise would not receive surgical intervention.  Some of the hospitals where the missions take place have no linens so the quilts cover the operating table during surgery, keep the children warm after surgery and they then get to take their quilt home with them. Sometimes the quilt is the only item of value other than the family's cooking implements. 

See that box? Do you think they will fit? 

40 x 58
It consists of a couple of Lotto blocks I won last year from Sunshine Online Quilt Guild's monthly lotto, a few orphan Happy Blocks, some scraps left over from a Quilt of Valor and some 2.5 inch scraps and and some alien fabric from stash. 

40 x 58
It consists of a few scrappy heart blocks, another block lotto winning block and some 6 inch orphan blocks along with some 2.5 inch scraps for sashing. 

I had made both tops last year but had to finish some other UFOs in order to have enough left over batting to piece together for these.  I usually buy Queen-sized batting on sale and piece leftovers for these smaller quilts that I quilt on my plain Jane DSM.  I quilted Hearts with flowers and Aliens with stars. 

The last time I put the quilts in a box for mailing I decided it wasn't quite full enough and I could make a couple more quilts to fill it up.

And now I think I need a bigger box. 
I need to find it soon because these are sure taking up space in my sewing room and I now need space for Christmas gifts!


This week I made my usual combo of 12 inch Kaleidoscope blocks - RSC color of the month (orange), color of month plus its complement (orange, blue), color of month plus color of previous month (orange,green). 

I decided to add two more blocks because I want to have 42 blocks at year end.  So I added orange with analogous colors (yellow,red) and secondary colors (orange,green,purple). Unfortunately I think the secondary color block will go into the orphan block pile and then into a donation quilt. I sewed together my usual 6 strips and then found out I either didn't use a scant 1/4 seam or cut one strip too small so ended up with a 6 inch strip instead of 6.5 inch in width strip. I thought I'd fix that by adding a 7th strip and cutting off either side to even up strip set to 6.5.   Arghhhh...that was not a fix and block is wonky. 

Those blocks, believe it or not, are a real crumb buster. I use crumbs for the corner triangles on the blocks.  I didn't have enough orange crumbs so combined with a few red and yellow. 

From some 4.5 inch strips I first cut a few pieces off the end for a Dresden Block.  I'll continue these into next year. I haven't yet decided what color or colors to use for background or centers. 

From same 4 .5 inch strips I made lots of 4.5 inch HSTs. A few HSTs ended up in a 16 inch chevron block and 12 inch HST block. 

I usually don't post pics other than quilt related but...speaking of orange...
last weekend the grandkids came over and helped to pick pumpkins and other things. 

Jacob had ambitious thoughts that he could push the full wheelbarrow up to the house. 

This is the other orange stuff I worked on last weekend.  The kids helped make pumpkin pies (homemade pie crust too) for dessert and pumpkin muffins for breakfast.   . 

Got scraps? (Orange this month)
Join us each ScrapHappy Saturday and show us what you've done with them.