Saturday, December 31, 2016

Glittering and Spinning

Ok...I wasn't going to start one more darned thing but there are some enablers out there in blog land. 
And that is how I ended up with my I'm-going-to-try-four-blocks-to-see-if-I-like-them Glitter blocks. 

The enabler was Gayle  who surprised me with a set of her homemade Glitter templates. What a treasure! They work perfectly. Thanks, Gayle! 

Quilt pattern/instructions may be found in Jen Kingwell's book Quilt Lovely.  I have several things to make bookmarked in there! 

And, believe it or not, I actually cut into some yardage and didn't use scraps to make those Glitter blocks (they take weird sized cuts).   So while I was at it I cut the same fabrics to make another Vintage Spin quilt. I gave my other one away. That was difficult to do because I loved my Vintage Spin but there was a special reason the receiver got that quilt.  I told myself I could always make another Vintage Spin for me. And so I am.  I'm not sure I like what I'm using for the centers on this one but I think that's what the center will be because I don't see anything else laying around here right now that I like or have enough of and I don't want to buy any fabric unless absolutely necessary.  I want to use what I have in 2017 (and to infinity). 

If you want to make your own instructions and template are in Kathy Doughty's book Adding Layers: Color, Design and Imagination

Friday, December 30, 2016

Trash Talking

(Imagine these on point)
I usually try four blocks of a new project to see if I actually like making them.  I do. 

I know a very nice lady in blog land who thinks the color turquoise is trashy! Can you imagine?? 
And so I'm calling this quilt Trash Talking in her honor. 

After all...I don't think the name Shiloh quite fits my version of the quilt.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Out of the Depths of the Scrap Piles

Two Donation Quilt Tops
Both are 40 x 60
As soon as I find a backing and as soon as I piece together some batting (aka Frankenbatt) I'll get them quilted and sent off to either Quilts Beyond Borders or Wrap-A-Smile. 

The blue one was pieced together from orphan blocks.  I thought the blocks in the middle were  Practical Orchard but I really don't remember. They are from a swap from long, long, long ago...too long ago.  Anyway, I was disappointed with a lot of the blocks I received. They are nine inch blocks and most of the points weren't perfect (after I worked so hard to make mine perfect) and some of the seams didn't even match right.  And if you look closely you can see one block that has the HST sewn the wrong way. Okay, so everyone needs to learn how to sew at some time or other so I let it go and threw the blocks I didn't like into a box. Well, actually I threw the ones I did like in there too but most of those were my own blocks.  (And I'm not really a picky person, believe me).    Long story short...I'm trying to use up everything in my sewing room because it's a mess with all of these parts and pieces, scrap bags and orphans laying around. And although I don't mind a good fabric mess or pile or two...I'm going to be admitted to an asylum one of these days by my family for hoarding if I don't get all my scraps under control soon.  Either that or a pile of boxes will fall on me and I'll be yelling "I've fallen and I can't get up" and no one will be around to hear me, see me and dig me out. 

I  also had a bunch of rail fence orphans in a box of blue orphans (left over from the rail fence and Dresden Plate/Fireworks Quilt of Valor I made earlier this year for my nephew) so decided to use those and the Impractical Orchards in a donation quilt I guess you could call Orchard Fence.  

Then remember this big garbage back of pale and very long strings cut from quilt backs that I showed back in November?  If not you can revisit the post (or not). 

To summarize...I was going to make another six point string star like the one I made earlier this year with bright long strings (that is currently on my bed) but make it with the pastel strings from that bag on a pink calico background.    Well, I sewed together enough scraps for my 248 star pieces (plus extras in case I misplace some, heaven forbid! ) and cut them out and am ready now for quilt top assembly but I didn't use the entire bag of scraps (and am now pondering what else I want to do with them). 

In the bottom of the said garbage bag of strings I found a couple of different little girl prints on several different pieces of fabric so fussy cut as many as I could into 6.5 inch pieces to use as block centers.  

And then I made 12 inch wonky log blocks from some more of the scraps in the bag plus some from the bag of pale shorter strings.  12 x 5 gave me the 60 inches I needed for length but in order to get the 40 inch width I cut twenty 1.5 inch x 12.5 inch pieces from scraps so I could use 4 in each row between blocks. I sneaked them in randomly between blocks so they kind of blended in with wonkiness of the blocks and didn't look like I used sashing.  

There is something rather satisfying about making something useful from an actual pile of this and that and other things. 

And I would consider this Improv Quilting
Did you know there is a monthly link for that? 
Ad Hoc Improv Quilting with Ann and Kaja

Monday, December 26, 2016

One Thing Leads to Another

I had been digging around in my Christmas scraps for pieces to make Christmas bags for wrapping presents but became distracted by some of the 2.5 inch scraps and so I decided to make some ornaments. 

Maybe I'll have enough ornaments made by next year for  Christmas quilt. 

I originally started out making snowballs but had some gray left over on my desk from making snowflakes so decided to add the gray at the top and turn the snowballs into ornaments. 

And that left me with some waste triangles...

I started to throw them into the waste triangle box but decided instead to use them. From now on I'm going to try to use them right away (I said try) and not add to the box.  Plus I think for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge in 2017 I'm going to try to use the waste triangles in the color of the month in a few projects. 

I turned some of them into star points on wonky star blocks that will finish at 4.5 inches. 

I have so many white waste triangles I may also make separate black/white blocks. 

But back to those waste triangles from the ornaments I just made...I also turned them into some confetti wave pieces...

...and when I get enough I'll turn them into Confetti Wave blocks. 

And I also turned those waste triangles into some butterflies on blue scraps. 

More butterflies I made in December to add to the pile. I should probably count the butterflies now. I know I have hundreds of 4 inch blocks.  About 400 of them will make a nice big quilt! 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Making Waves

Ocean Waves and Confetti Waves
Both are 16 inch blocks
The one on the left is a traditional ocean waves block made with 30s scraps and bleached muslin. 
The one on the right is the same block layout except I used waste triangles on red instead of making HSTs. 

Ocean Waves

Confetti Waves

Making waves and using scraps.
I should be wrapping presents but I love sewing scraps and hate wrapping (or even bagging) presents. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Jack's Chain #2

I worked a little more on my Jack's Chain in neutrals with dark 3 inch 9 patches. 
There's a lot of Y seams in this so I work on it a little at a time. 

This is Jack's Chain quilt #2 and will be a little bigger than the first one I made which was 66 x 80 and is in the hope chest for my grandson's wedding gift.  (He's only 8 right now so it will be in the hope chest for a good long while). 

I want this one to fit on my queen-sized bed. 

Anyone want to swap 3 inch 9 patches?  I need a bunch more! 

In case you want to know what a completed Jack's Chain looks like...
Jack's Chain #1
This one used up a lot of my bright 3 inch 9 patches! 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Speaking of Small Pieces...

I made a couple of pumpkin seed arches from scraps to see if I was going to like them.  I certainly love the quilt on the cover of this book.   I first saw the quilt on Carla's blog, A Few of My Favorite Things.  and I asked her what pattern she was using and she gave me the name of this book which I promptly purchased. 

I don't know about you but my scraps seem to accumulate out of nowhere.  I have a cutting mat on the desk behind my sewing machine and when it gets too crowded to even cut or sew any more because of the scrap piles I throw them into boxes and/or bags to sort through at a later date.  These need to go...

One bag of scraps that was once behind the sewing machine...

...and another.   I sorted through them for scraps in autumn colors big enough (at least 3.5 inches long, I think)  to sew on to the inner arch paper template I traced on to a couple of phone book pages taped together.  I tried alternating light and dark scraps as suggested in the pattern but I'm not sure I'll continue that way with all of the rest of the arches.  We'll see. I'm a little light on light scraps. 

Then I laid them on a plain coral background to see if I liked them.  Maybe. But I wasn't inspired. 

I tried this background and think I like it better. Not sure yet. I have lots of time to decide.  The pattern actually calls for a light background. I know my background won't be light. 

Which background do you prefer? 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Postage Stamps

I worked on sewing up my postage stamps today.  I had 3 pencil boxes, a gallon baggie and a box of them already cut. 

This is one of my new postage stamp projects.  Imagine these on point, though. 

I saw a postage stamp quilt in this book I loved. You can see part of it on the cover.  The book just arrived on Wednesday and I actually purchased it because I have been looking for an old pattern I call Russian Sunflower and this book has it although I think it is just called Sunflower in the book.  Haven't started the Sunflower yet because I was distracted by the postage stamp quilt.   I even had enough of the double pink fabric in my stash for the alternate blocks.  Serendipity!

I am now buried in rows of 6 postage stamps.  No strip sets here! 

I just sewed like the wind to empty pencil cases, bags and boxes. 

I also made 3  more blocks for my other postage stamp quilt modeled after a vintage one with sashings.   According to my notes I need 7 more of these 10 inch blocks and I can start assembling my quilt.   I used the postage stamps  I had sorted by color since that's the way I've been making these. 

I also sewed up some of the neutrals/low volume blocks to add to my collection.  I'm hoping to add some lace pieces and crochet motifs (like butterflies and pansies) and embroidery (like bullion roses)  to this one someday. 

I have the rows sewn together for more brown blocks to go into my plain brown wrapper quilt as well as some black/white/gray rows of postage stamps for a black/white/gray postage stamp quilt. 

And now I'm pretty much out of postage stamps! 
Can you tell I like quilts with itty bitty pieces? 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

These Might Be Pear Trees But There's No Partridges Around Here

I've had a couple of remnants (I love remnants) sitting around in my way so decided to try my hand at making some trees so I wouldn't have to decide which crate to throw these remnants into ....birds? fall? fabrics with writing? grays? neutrals? chunks? 

I'm thankful for people who post tutorials since I'm not good at that. (I guess because I never really know what I'm doing). 

I've had this improv tree tutorial bookmarked to make some day.  Some day has arrived. 

Thank you Pinkadot Quilts! These were fun.

 I think I have more remnants in my way too.  I see a UFO (slow moving quilt) of these in my future.  I may even add a few applique leaves here and there.  Or I might add some of that low hanging fruit I hear so much about (and have evidently never picked). 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Snowflakes and Snow

Because it snowed a lot over a week ago it triggered (inspired is not the right word to insert here) me to work on a UFO and make more snowflakes. 

Actually these are called SPOKES and I learned to make them a few years ago when it was the block of the month at Block Lotto.   But they will be SNOWFLAKES made out of snowflake fabrics against a gray sky in the quilt I have in mind.  I might have enough snowflakes now to finish up a top. Or not. I need to take count. 

And here's a whole lot of snowflakes. 

This is a picture of a ruler in the snow on our deck on Dec. 4 which melted a few days later, thank goodness.  My husband loves to take pics of winter weather and garden produce. So I'll give him credit for this pic. Where he got the pink ruler is beyond me. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Salvaging Selvages

I made 8 more 12 inch wonky log cabin blocks from selvages and now have a total of 12 with more to come. 

I used 4.5 inch sewing themed novelties for the centers. 

Not sure of the final arrangement yet but this will be a BIG quilt.  It has also become apparent that I will be able to make a couple of BIG quilts from all the selvages I have been collecting for years even though most of the selvages are all cut narrower than narrow. 

It's also apparent that this is mindless sewing that sometimes is necessary to clear the mind.  (My mind is so clear I can hear the marbles rattling around now. )

Do you know where your scraps are? 

Scraptastic Tuesday

Monday, December 12, 2016

For the Granddaughters

These are little beaded crochet amulet bags to wear around the neck.  They can hold all the magic, amulets, charms etc. a girl possesses...or maybe they will hold some spare change and/or a dollar bill and some chap stick.  Who knows? They are Christmas gifts for the two granddaughters.  

I also bead crocheted a couple of wrap bracelets with button closures for them. 

They are the ones who like to dress in black now. I would rather have made them in all sorts of colors but they aren't for me. 

And I finished crocheting another hat for the hat pile. 

I finished one in purple/gray for the other granddaughter quite some time ago. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

When You Wish Upon a Star

60 x 78
Machine Quilted with Loops and Stars

I started making these six inch blocks from scraps a couple of years ago as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project.  Slowly but surely I made 130 blocks and used a lot of scraps. 

I bound it with turquoise polka dots because the backing is turquoise and coincidentally I had just bought a remnant at Hobby Lobby that was just enough yardage for the binding.   Serendipity! 

For the backing I used a nice soft Twin sized sheet from the thrift store.  I used gray thread on top and a blue green (more on the green side) thread in the bobbin.  Those were threads I had on hand. 

I went with my old standby for for machine quilting star quilts - loops and stars.   I guess I need to learn to be more consistent  with my stars because sometimes there's blank spaces that could have been filled in a little better.   But that's not a bother to me right now.  

I think this might be one of the quilts I put in the car survival kits I've made for the adult kids for Christmas. 

And this sure used a LOT of scraps  - Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework