Sunday, January 31, 2016

Short, Bright and Skinny

Short, bright and skinny? No, I'm not describing myself except for maybe the bright part.  I'm talking about the strings I used up in this quilt top. 

It's 45 x 54.  I used some 5 inch b/w centers I've had laying around here from a swap long, long ago. 

Since this is wider than a width of fabric I'm thinking I will make one big happy block for the back and use some of my long strings around a big center. We'll see. 

My plain Jane Janome is in the shop for repair. I heard a clunk and that was it. No more sewing for me. And I was about 3/4 finished with free motion quilting my Fireworks quilt.   My husband helped me get my crazy Ken Kenmore out of the attic and I decided to give it a try while Jane is in the shop.  I haven't sewn on it since I made my daughter's wedding dress about 15 years ago and got frustrated with him and banished him to the attic.  I'm spoiled by Jane's 1/4 foot which doesn't fit on Ken so decided I would just sew on Wonky today where it doesn't make any difference if seams aren't perfect.  I finished up 8 blocks and then assembled the top.  And I'm kind of liking Ken again.  I might have to find space for him in the sewing room.  Right now he's hanging out in the spare bedroom.

This kind of quilt is a lot of fun.  It's a perfect pick-me-up for a cold, rainy winter day. Where else would Santa meet Spiderman? 

And, oh JOY...the spiders are after the chocolate while the monkeys and puppies look on and the reindeer hang upside down. 

When this gets finished it will either be a donation quilt or a car quilt. 
For Christmas  I'm making several "car quilts" to include with other items in some emergency/survival boxes for the car.   Other items to include in the boxes might be hand warmers, flashlight, small shovel, extra gloves,  whistle, jumper cables, salt/sand, multi-purpose tool...there's lots of websites out there with suggestions. 

Linking to:

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Blue 1.5

I've been making these little 3 inch spools since 2013. Maybe by the end of this year I will have enough for a large quilt. I figured I need 783 of them for a 81 x 87 quilt (blocks set 27 x 29).  And with these 15 spools I now have 630 blocks - 146 of them in shades of blue. 

While I was at it I dug into the 1.5 postage stamp collection and made three 49 patches. 

This is the last blue week for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Think I'll go see what everyone else has done to chase away the blues. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Looking Back...Are You Ready for a Good Laugh?

I really don't consider myself any type of quilter - Improv, Modern, Traditional, Crazy, Lazy, Wonky...that's me. (Notice the title of my blog is Sane, Crazy, Crumby?)   I'm all over the place. 

But, I guess in the beginning I was what would today be considered Improv. 

I made this blue jean quilt in 1992 out of the family's old blue (and other colored) jeans. I followed no pattern - just followed a whim. 

How do I know it was 1992? Because I embroidered it on this quilt. 
I wanted to practice some embroidery stitches on I didn't know what.  Worn out blue jeans were handy. 

For years we took it camping. That's back before we had the pop up camper and went tent camping. We sat on this quilt around many a campfire and I probably washed many smore's off of it. Kids would sit on it during the day and play card games. If it was cold we would cover up with it at night.  Or we would put it under our sleeping bags to keep the dew off of us.  I  have two other twin sized denim quilts out in the pop up camper we still use when we go camping.  Before camping they were bedspreads on the boy's bunk beds.  The camper is closed up for the winter or I would have gotten those out too.  

I tied the quilt with several strands of embroidery thread.  It has held up well but is now falling apart. It retired to the quilt rack hanging on the wall in the spare bedroom.  I don't know why. It was a learning experience and it is full of memories.   (By the way...I learned that it's not really easy to practice embroidery stitches on blue jean seams).  

Oh, and the back was a big piece of soft plaid flannel.  (Sorry for the blurry's windy and cold out there.) 

Ok, now let's go back in our time machine to the 70s. You can see the small  denim quilt next to the queen sized quilt made out of left over fabrics from back when I made clothes for the family.  I must have been ahead of my time. It sure looks like what today is called a jelly roll quilt.  (I really don't like jelly roll quilts if the truth be known). 

This quilt is from about 1977 and we lived in Florida then. I made this as our family beach quilt.  Four of us, ice chests, strollers, diaper bags, beach toys,  towels and other stuff fit nicely on the quilt. 

Mickey Mouse fabric was from one of the shirts I made my husband. I was going to go looking for pics of him in that shirt for proof but was too lazy to go through old photos. 

That flowery print was what I used to recover a chair I bought at auction.  Hey, it was the 70s! Anyway, it was a small chair and the fabric was probably too light weight but it is a little heavier than regular cotton and I'm sure it was a good price because we weren't exactly rolling in the dough back then. 

I estimated this as vintage 1977 because I see some little girl fabrics in the quilt and my daughter had some little dresses and sun suits made from some of the fabrics in this quilt.  (Actually this really isn't truly a quilt by the strictest definition of quilt but as far as I'm concerned it's a quilt) . We moved back to IA in 1979 and used this quilt for a couple of years at the beach so 1977 it is.  Again I have some pics of my daughter in clothes made from some of these fabrics.  And strangely enough...that brown calico sure looks like some fabric I just picked up for about $3 yd on clearance. 

To make this I cut (with good old fashioned scissors) the scraps into what looks like about 2.5 inch strips I had marked with pencil and ruler. I sewed those strips together (by color I guess. Wasn't that fancy?)  into long strips and sewed them to an old sheet using the sew a strip, flip, sew a strip, flip method to attach to the sheet.  I don't remember where I got that green plaid I used for binding...maybe from my step mom? 

I actually didn't pay any attention to what types of fabric I used...there's different weights and types; seersuckers and gauzy and some cotton/rayon blends. 

The old sheet I used on the back is yellowing now.  You can see it was old to begin with. I put a few "band aids" on the holes that were in the sheet and I didn't even bother to cut off the doubled over fabric of the sheet.  Remember, I wanted a quilt to spread out on the sandy beach. 

Ok. Here's the part where I show you this was actually made from scraps left over from clothes I made.  See that purple strip there?  And below it, on top of the quilt you can see...

...the shirt I made (and actually wore) with that fabric.  Go ahead and laugh. Yes, I still have it. I have a lot of the cotton shirts I made stored in a box to cut up and use someday in something. I used to cut them down and make things for my daughter until she grew up.  I think that shirt has shrunk about three sizes (or is it just me)?

Yes, I'm a hoarder. An improv hoarder.  

Do you have an improv story? 

Link up with  Ann at Fret Not Yourself or Kaja at Sew Slowly and tell your story. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

UFO Attack

No, I'm not being attacked by a UFO. I'm attacking a UFO. 

Blind Man's Fancy is one of my many UFOs.  I think it has lingered as a UFO for so long because I hate cutting fabric especially when the pattern calls for so many odd sized pieces. Those little HSTs finish at 1 13/16 which is really weird and so I can't use my usual method of making HSTs which is using an Easy Angle ruler.  I have to follow the methods used in the pattern for all these weird sized pieces for a 15 inch block. 

 I do want to make and own a quilt like this so I decided to work on it again last weekend and made six more blocks.  I need a total of 25 (or maybe reduce to 16? ) plus this will have flying geese for sashing. 

Since this pattern is supposedly modeled after a civil war era quilt I'm using civil war reproduction fabrics.  I found a free pattern by Beth Donaldson to use.  I also have a slightly different set of instructions from the book History Repeated which I bought after I started making these. 

in case you are interested in how the final quilt will look. 

Normally when I make these blocks I choose 7 different fabrics starting with the center 6 1/8 inch piece and work out from there, cutting fabric for each section of the block. Then I sew.  I don't cut all the fabric pieces at one time because of the "hate cutting" factor. I also hate drawing sewing/cutting lines on fabric and so that is why I sew a little, cut a little, sew a little, cut a little especially on blocks like these. 

In order to keep this UFO moving forward I've devised a new plan of attack. 

Now I'm going to work from the outside in and also use some of the already cut pieces left over from the last 11 blocks.   So, I will mix and match the pile of 5 inch fabrics to make 4 each of all the hourglass units I need.  I will mix and match the pile of already cut 4 3/8 inch pieces and make all those 1 13/16 inch HSTs and so on.  So, I think rather than make one block at a time I will make all of the necessary UNITS I need from already cut to size fabrics and then make the blocks.  I think that will be more appealing to me and help me get this quilt completed! 

Linking to: 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Which Way to the Chocolate?

Update on Which Way to the Chocolate...
I've finished big stitching around the flying geese using various colors of brown perle #5 (a tangle of threads from my stash) and have started on the maze of brown sashing. 

In the sashing I'm using different weights of thread and colors of brown I have on hand.  So far I have used a variegated brown perle #8 and am now using some 20 wt light brown thread I have in my stash that I have used for crochet and some tatting trials.  I'm not using a hoop or marking lines...just going with the flow and trying to chase away those winter blues. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Triangle Star and Then Some

Blue Triangle Star
18 3/4 inch block

I first saw this block on Gayle's blog, Mangofeet.  I loved the pic of a vintage quilt from a magazine and went searching for a similar pattern.  I wanted to use my civil war scraps and a pumpkin background to make that star.  Gayle's post mentioned it was from American Patchwork and Quilting, October 2009. That was enough to lead me to a free quilt pattern for the Triangle Stars that was inspired by the Vintage quilt called Wildest Dreams. 

Before I started on my civil war scraps I thought I would give it a try with some pieces from the scrap bin.   I had a few problems but it was easier than I thought.  It looks like I don't have 1/4 inch seam near all those star points but I think I can fix that.   And, so I'll practice on my colorful scraps and make one each month for Rainbow Scrap Challenge with the background color in the highlight color of the month. 

And while I was in the blue scraps I sewed up a few 4.5 inch crumb blocks - 30 of them.  I was going to make some crumb fish like I made in 2013 (below) but decided against it for now.   They will probably get made into a donation quilt in the summer when I make smaller donation quilts because I don't have air conditioning and it makes it toooooo hot to quilt larger quilts. 

Crumb Fish 
Donation Quilt 2013

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Kaleidoscopes of Butterflies

Last year someone commented on my blog that a flock of butterflies was referred to as a kaleidoscope of butterflies.  You learn something new every day.  How fascinating...I love butterflies AND I love kaleidoscopes. So...I decided I needed to have my own kaleidoscope of butterflies that I could appreciate all year long and a quilt was born.  Well, actually 2 kaleidoscope of butterflies quilts were born.  I have lots of butterfly themed fabrics.   

This one will combine flowers and butterflies and will have all blue floral corners...kind of like flowers against the sky.  I'm going to also alternate x and + blocks - darks in different positions in the block so they form an x or a + in the center -  so there will be a secondary pattern.  These are all + versions.  I decided on 10 inch blocks because I had pieces of floral fabrics left over from... unfinished butterfly garden quilt above that were cut at 5.5 inches so might as well start there.  

This is Kaleidoscope of Butterflies quilt #2.  I used the same butterfly fabrics but a consistent neutral fabric  and same fabric for corners.  I may mix up the corner fabrics. I was hoping this layout would also form a different type of secondary pattern - where the corners meet surrounded by the neutral. 

 So...I was reading Ann's blog, Fret Not Yourself, and commented on her post about Monarchs and Milkweed that I had recently found out that a flock of butterflies was a kaleidoscope and had been thinking about making a kaleidoscope of butterflies quilt and she suggested a monthly link.  See her blog post today. 
Pic I took of Butterfly on my Zinnias 2008

Let's keep it casual. Here are the parameters:

1. Celebrate butterflies and other pollinators with photos of butterflies, pupae, or larvae in your area and/or the plants they feed on AND/OR2. Use butterfly fabric OR3. Use any kaleidoscope or butterfly pattern (Don't forget those fabulous designs by Paula Nadelstern!)

Another pic I took of butterfly on my zinnias.  Note zinnia fabric in first photo on bottom right. 

So, here's looking at you, kid! 

Let us know if you're interested in the Kaleidoscope of Butterflies link up starting February 1. 
Let's celebrate butterflies! 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Lozenges or Suppositories? Take Your Pick !

Lozenges (aka Suppositories)
76 x 90

That means there are 760 little 2 x 4.5 little lozenges (aka suppositories...more on that later).  That also means I sewed on to those lozenges 3040 little 1.5 inch corners. 

I started making these in March 2014.  Bonnie Hunter was making them that year as a leader/ender project.  I'm not a leader/ender kind of girl so I sewed a few up each month as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project.  They were easy to make but rather a pain in the patooty to make because they are so boring.  So, I lovingly started referring to them as suppositories. ( I think a sense of humor can get you through anything). 

I thought each lozenge was a unique scrap fabric but when I started sewing them together I saw a few duplicates.  I guess that happens when you make units over a couple of years. 

No design wall here so I just sewed them together as I pulled them out of the light bag then the dark bag.    I quilted it with vertical straight lines (using a walking foot) on both sides of the seam allowances on my plain Jane Janome. 

For the backing I used a 100% cotton sheet in excellent condition that I found at the thrift store. 

I forgot to take a pic specifically of the binding but I used a black and white floral print. 

Well, this quilt definitely used a whole lot of scraps so I guess I'll go visit the

And since I moved this all the way forward to the finish line I'm linking up to

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Now Grandma's Nipping at the 4.5 Inch Blue Scraps

This week for the RSC I worked on my blue 4.5 inch scraps.
At the end of the year when I was taking stock I found some scrappy chevrons I think I made during RSC 2013.  I don't think I had many 4.5 inch scraps until this year so I've decided to resurrect this project.  I made one 16 inch chevron. 

I'm making geese this year.  I use the easy angle and companion angle rulers to make these.  I tried them out last year when green was the color of the month.  I decided that if the color of the month was a primary color then the geese sides will be secondary colors and vice versa.   I'm not sure what I'm going to do for final layout. I have plenty of time to think about it. 

I also made these, for want of a better name, fractured units.  Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession has many different layouts for these units.  I didn't see the one I happened upon on the right in her books but I'm thinking I kind of like that.  These are easy peasy units to make so I'm sure by year end I'll have enough for a couple of quilts.  If I had short pieces that was at least 4.5 x 5 I used them in these units. 

And then I have the 4.5 inch block kitchen sink pile - a few HSTs left from the chevron, a few 4.5 inch squares (both blue and neutral) and anything less than 4.5 inch square was sewn into a long strip.  I'll have fun with all my different sized strips at the end of the year.  And this might be the year I do something with that 4.5 inch kitchen sink pile...the sink is getting full. 

I think that's it for the 4.5 inch blue scraps. 

I know you don't remember when I said last week that I had saved a few long 2.5 inch scraps for this week so I won't ask if you remember but this is what I did with them - Interlocking Chains - a fourteen inch block. 

Got Blue Scraps?
Dig them out, sew them up and show us what you've done with them each ScrapHappy Saturday. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Let's Go For a Spin

Vintage Spin
65 x 78 
Pattern from Kathy Doughty's book Adding Layers - Color, Design & Imagination. 
It's been difficult to get good pics because the winds have been strong and until today temps were in the teens. 

Each block is hand quilted in either navy, green or orange hand quilting thread... concentric circles. 

I was hoping the circles would make the blocks look a little like they were spinning plus give the quilt some nice texture. 

I used this navy/aqua fabric from stash and bound it all in some polka dots. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

WAIWO? Short Strings and Quilt Wrestling.

What am I working on?  Scraps. It's Scraptastic Tuesday! 
I've been sewing some of my short string scraps around some b/w 5 inch squares for some 9 inch wonky Happy Blocks. 

And I've been wrestling with my lozenges (aka suppositories) quilt - a scrappy catalog of 2.5 x 5 inch pieces of fabric (aka scraps) leftover from quilts I've made or quilt blocks I've made that are now hiding in boxes of UFOs. 

I have a dinky harp space on my DSM and a big quilt that needs to go through there. I'm only quilting a few straight lines, thank goodness, and it will all be over soon.  I think I will win the wrestling match...this time. 

Got Scraps?