Wednesday, September 30, 2015

On a Lighter Note

Mollie of the Heartstrings Quilt Project Group I belong to issued a challenge for July and August to make Heartstring quilts with light colored centers.   Well, here it is almost October and I finally finished a top 60 x 78. I used a light gray floral print and had just enough for the blocks with a little bit to spare.  I wanted to use a garbage bag full of light colored quilt trimming strings and I used about half of the bag.  That's about the extent of any light colored fabrics or scraps around here.  For the border I used another gray floral piece that looks like it is left over from a maternity top I made in the 80s.  (I might have made a little dress for my daughter with that same lovely piece of calico). 

And if I ever get it quilted (after I piece together some batting pieces) it will be a donation quilt. 

Can you tell I use a lot of cotton sheets for quilt backs? 

Since I definitely used scraps I'm going to link up to Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sane, Crazy, Crumby and Improv ??????

Back in January 2014 Sophie of Sophie Junction issued a Tea Towel Challenge. (as you can see in my Jan. post if you so desire).  I picked a Tea Towel, decided I would make at least a lap quilt sized and went about making various items to add to the quilt. I just knew I didn't want to use the Tea Towel as the center because I don't really like Medallion type quilts. 

By March 2014 I had a lot of letters and embroidery completed and there I stalled and put everything away. (You can see where I left off in my March 2014 post if you so desire. )

Now fast forward to a month or so ago when Kaja of Sew Slowly and Ann of Fret Not Yourself  decided to form the Ad Hoc Improv Quilters Group (AHIQ).    I don't really consider myself an improv quilter and I don't really feel the urge to label my quilting or style in any sort of way but I do like to use some feeble parts of my brain once in awhile before they atrophy so I kind of joined in with AHIQ.    I can't just take fabric and play around with it. I have to have a goal in mind because I'm very goal oriented and don't feel I can waste fabric or time on something that wouldn't be useful to me or someone else. That's just not me. No, that's not me at all. I actually get my liberated feeling from taking my bra off the minute I get in the door after work. The shoes usually come off next. Ah...liberation!! Cutting into fabric for who knows what reason doesn't liberate me. In fact it stresses me. I've tried to be "fabric liberated."  If I  play with some fabric I have to make it into hotpads or mug rugs or place mats or something.   And scraps too little to do anything with go into the garden as mulch so I don't have to throw it away. Anyway, enough about my Type A personality (I can live with it)... So, this is a UFO I consider an improv project.  I dug it out of the burial mound and decided to give it life once again.  Maybe a monthly linky party will give me the push I need to move along on this.  Or not. We shall see.  I do have a couple of other UFOs I would probably consider improv in the same burial ground where I found this one. And they are to me different types of improv.   But let's start here. With this one. I'm going to try to impress myself with what I consider some improv quilting.  I may end up with some improv comedy instead. Who knows. 

So...what have I done since I resurrected this project?  

I haven't done much.  I decided I would construct this AHIQ quilt (aka Tea Towel Challenge quilt) by making panels with my bits and pieces...3 of them...and I would then join them together into one quilt.  It's a start.  

You can see what others consider AHIQ projects at  Sew Slowly or Fret Not Yourself.  
And why not join the fun too!

Monday, September 28, 2015

These Feathers Aren't For My Cap

Put on your sunglasses!

I found a pattern to use up some of my brighter  and long string scraps (about a garbage bag full - most are quilt back trimmings)- Anna Maria Horner's Feather Bed. 
Eight blocks down and thirty more to go for a twin sized quilt.  I think I have enough strings. I hope I have enough of that wild feather background. 

I'll show you later what I did with the lighter colored strings. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Oh, Gosh! I Should Clean the Guest Room More Often.

Oh, gosh! Look what I found upstairs in the guest bedroom on top of the wardrobe with some finished quilts.  Who hid it up there?  Hmmmm...   I guess it's a good thing I had company and freshened up the guest room.  (Who knows what treasures I have hidden from myself all over the house. Treasure hunt, anyone?)

I started making this in 2011. I finished the top in 2012. And I started hand quilting it in Jan. 2013 but I didn't get very far and then I evidently hid it from myself. Hmmmm...   (I was calling this bird brains since it features birds in most the snowballs but we can see who the real bird brain is here).  It is also one of the few quilts I've made with a border and I even tried prairie points to boot. But, where did that lime green come from? I really despise lime green.  That explains all of those lime green scraps now! 

This was the first quilt I started quilting with regular thread (not perle).  Back then I used no thimble or hoop.  I got as far as stitching diagonally through all of the nine patches with an X.  (I'm talking about the dark squares.  I just added those Xs in the light patches last night).   I remember it was very difficult to hand quilt because I used some batik on the back and it sure doesn't needle like butter. 

The snowballs have a flower motif I traced with a stencil. 

This really wasn't up next in my hand quilting queue since I finished hand quilting Petunias but it's started, been pinned and my body doesn't feel like it should get down on the floor to pin baste any other quilt so away we go hand quilting this one. 

That batik back and you can see how much I already previously quilted. 

So, I guess I'll do some Slow Sunday (and Monday and Tuesday and...) for awhile on this thing.  I think it is Queen-sized. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Orange - The Dresden Edition

Orange is the color of the month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. 
Each month I make 4 Dresden blocks on gray backgrounds. They also have a polka dot center and gray rickrack around the center. The other self-imposed rules:
1. One block of color of the month
2. One block in color of month plus its complement
3. One block in color of the month plus black/white
4. One block in color of the month plus white/black. 

Got scraps?
Use them up and link up each ScrapHappy Saturday. 
Color will be changing soon!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Petunias - a Finish !!!

72 x 90

I renamed it Petunias because the shape and some of the colors (pink and yellow) reminded me of Petunias I have on my deck. 

Most of the fabrics are left over from a Pickle Dish Wedding Quilt I made for my granddaughter's hope chest. 

Blocks are 18 inches. 

It is all hand quilted in pink thread.  In the wedges I alternated lines out and lines across.  Oh, it gives such a lovely texture (along with a callous on the middle finger of my left hand). 

In the secondary star pattern I just stitched around each section and in alternate sections stitched around twice. 

It's such a busy quilt I wondered if any of the hand quilting would really show. I'm glad I hand quilted and pleased with the results. 

 This might be a Christmas gift for one of the granddaughters next year.  It's the perfect size for a twin bed. I can't give it this year because I don't have one finished for the other granddaughter.  

I had family in town for a nephew's wedding - some from CA and some from FL and some from several states in between.   I took some time off of work and sat around and hand quilted during the times everyone was here visiting and not playing games. I love to play games almost as much as I love to hand quilt. 

And here's the wild back.  I pieced together two sections of sale fabric matching up the chevrons so it looks like a wide backing. 


Today I'm linking up to: 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Follow That Butterfly

Four more 18 inch Follow That Butterfly blocks for a total of 7 out of 20.

This pattern is found in the book Adding Layers by Kathy Doughty. She calls it Follow the Sun. 

That's all I'll probably be sewing this week. I'm expecting relatives on Thursday for a short stay. One of my many nephews is getting married this weekend. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Using Up Orphan Blocks

Donation Quilt
40 x 60
From six inch and four inch orphan blocks

The pinwheels are all leftover from a Patches and Pinwheels quilt I made several years ago.  Most of the other blocks have come from various swaps over the years and I just never found a use for them.

Those hearts and the rosebud block are also mine. 
To make the quilt I  paired blocks together into sets of four and made 12 inch blocks.  Then I added a yellow 2.5 inch border to brighten it up a bit.  I wanted it to be a little longer so I then added some of those 4 inch blocks from a pile of I-forget-what-you-call-them blocks (like a snowball but with only two corners).  The binding was in blue to match the backing and was machine stitched as requested by Quilts Beyond Borders. 

The backing was the other half of the sheet leftover from the last donation quilt.  And I quilted it on my DSM  in some spirals...uneven and lopsided and sometimes shaky spirals...but spirals nonetheless.  Now you know why I had quilt a lot of quilts. 

And today I'm going over to: 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Orange 1.5

Orange is the color of the month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.
This week I made three nine inch butterfly blocks that consist of eight 3 inch "butterflies".  And that makes 50!  Only 6 more to go and I'm ready to assemble a top! I've been making these from 1.5 inch scraps for a couple of years. 

Also from 1.5 inch scraps...spools. They are made the same way as the butterflies but with a different arrangement of fabric.  I've been making these for a couple of years also. 

And that's it for my RSC projects that use 1.5 inch scraps. 

Got Scraps?
Use the orange ones up this month and join us each ScrapHappy Saturday. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Someone's in the Kitchen with Dinah! Someone's in the Kitchen I Know, Oh, Oh, Oh!

Wheel of Fortune blocks 
from the book History Repeated. 
This makes 26 blocks and I need 36. I think I have 10 more unique kitchen themed fabrics.
I have something fun planned for the sashing. I need to experiment a bit to see if my idea will work. 
I was worried I wouldn't have enough of that pale yellow background but now I think I will. 

Glad I have the day off. I just noticed yesterday that the grapes are ripe. It's time to get in the kitchen and make grape butter. My husband made wine from them last year so this year it's my turn to use them.  I love homemade jam on homemade biscuits. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015


Join up, make some blocks, and, hey, you might win. 
I really shouldn't be making these...

...since I've already made enough of my own the last several years for a Queen-sized quilt and just can't seem to get all the sashing completed for the top.  I hate sashing. It is so boring. 

Alycia is having another block drive for Quilts of Valor.    I'm joining in.  These 9 inch blocks are pretty easy and will make some awesome quilts for soldiers. 

Speaking of QOV...I participated in a 6 inch Chunky Churn Dash swap in patriotic colors. 

I'll probably combine with some 6 inch snowballs and make a QOV for my brother-in-law or nephew.  Might as well keep a couple of QOV quilts in the family. 

And, finally, this is a 40 x 60 top made of 6 inch orphan blocks that I hope to finish in September for donation to Quilts Beyond Borders. In fact, I'm declaring it my ALYOF Sept. goal. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

I Thought I Left Orange Behind in the 70s

The color of the month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is Orange. 

I really haven't had many orange scraps in previous RSC years. I don't really like orange.  I thought I left it behind in the 70s when most of our walls were painted apricot, orange or peach, our carpet was brown and gold shag and most of our plant pots were wrapped in macrame (and we wore flowers in our hair). 

So, I dug through my 2.5 scrap box and yikes...Who put all of those orange scraps there? 

First up...any 2.5 piece that is at least 24 inches (length of my cutting mat) long I put in a pile for my kaleidoscope blocks.   I then pair those pieces together, sew them together, cut wedges with kaleidoscope ruler and make my blocks.  (That fruit salad kaleidoscope was two different fruit fabrics and together that block kind of makes me cross-eyed.)

Then the scraps left over after cutting kaleidoscope wedges gets made into four patches.  I have a pile of four inch blocks that will get made into a kitchen sink type quilt some day. 

After the kaleidoscopes are made any piece that is at least 18 inches long gets cut and made into Cracker blocks. 

After the Crackers scraps get cut into 5 inch pieces and made into Lozenges  Suppositories.

Next I find some neutral 2.5 scraps and pair them up with any remaining pieces of orange and use my ez angle ruler to cut HSTs.   The HSTs get made into 8 inch Depression blocks and any other HSTs get made into a variety of 4 inch blocks and go into the Kitchen Sink pile I talked about above. 

And finally if there are any pieces that I can cut 2.5 inch square I make those into Twinklers. 

And that's the end of the story as to how I use 2.5 scraps no matter how they got here. 

We all need a little orange in our lives lest we get scurvy, matey. 

Got any orange scraps in yours? 
Use them up and join us for ScrapHappy Saturday

And, I'm going to join up with Scraptastic Tuesday...another link where the scraps are on parade in all sorts of awesome projects. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

BIG Crumb Stars

Crumb Stars
40 x 60
To be donated to Quilts Beyond Borders
(The crumby part of Sane, Crazy, Crumby)
Star blocks finish at 18 inches.

I made a pile of 6 inch crumb blocks a couple of years ago as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and haven't done anything with them since.  I decided to use my little used TriRec ruler and make some Crumb Stars. So...I pulled out the purple blocks because I had a big chuck of purple fabric left over from some fabric gift bags I made for the granddaughters. 

Earlier this year in April I made nine inch Crumb Stars for Block Lotto so I decided to try a larger version using those 6 inch ready made crumbs blocks and six inch  purple star points. 

I had a couple of similarly colored blue fabric to use for the background - one piece my daughter picked up from a yard sale and brought to me. I think the other was left over from a QOV.  My daughter doesn't sew but for some reason she's always hunting for someone else's scraps and then she brings them to me and acts like she's done me a big favor.   (She probably has but I don't let her know that). 

I had a night sky looking sheet (or someone spilled bleach all over it) from the thrift store to use for the back of this quilt and the next donation quilt I make.  I pieced batting by zigzagging scraps together.  The binding was the last of a piece of fabric I had on top of one of my many piles so I grabbed it and used it up. (I think a piece went into the string bin).   I quilted it in loops and stars on my plain Jane Janome. 

I'm not sure I actually like the over-sized stars so I probably won't make anymore. But it was fun to give them a try.  Somewhere in this world I'll bet there's a child who will think the over-sized stars are just right. 

I wanted to make 5 quilts this quarter from orphan blocks, crumb blocks, etc for donation. This is the fourth one and goal #11 from my Q3 goal list for 2015 Finish Along with Adrianne of On the Windy Side.