Friday, March 31, 2017

No Strip Sets Here or I'd Probably Be Finished With This By Now

Although the instructions call for making "strip sets" I opted to use little scraps instead and sew them all together one at a time.  It may take awhile to get enough blocks especially since I also have another completely different postage stamp quilt in the works but who is in a rush?  (Answer: not me.)

As of now I have 13 of the 20 blocks with 4 sets of 36 patches completed. That's 1772 little 1.5 pieces of fabric if my multiplication with paper and pen is correct but who is counting? (Answer: Evidently I am). 

42-Cents Forever Stamps
From the book:

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

I Think This Old MacDonald May Have Wacky Tobacco on His Farm E-I-E-I-O !

54 x 66

It's a top!
It's a top that used a LOT of scraps!

I think I will have some fun hand quilting this one!

I might have done things a little differently if it hadn't been a mystery quilt along but I think the top is a lot of fun.  I tried some improv blocks, paper-piecing and traditional blocks I hadn't tried before. You never know about some things until you try!  (I still hate paper-piecing). 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Coin Toss: It's a Start

Ann (of Fret Not Yourself) and Kaja (of Sew Slowly) issued a challenge (or, if you prefer, invited us) to make an improv coin toss quilt.    I don't have a design wall and don't really work with one or I'd never get anything done endlessly moving fabric around on a wall.  So I pinned my work on Coin Toss so far up on the clothesline with the sashing fabric I'm using as the back drop in order to take a pic to show where I am so far. 

When I started I knew I wanted a quilt roughly 60 x 80. I knew I wanted to use up some orphans, crumb blocks and other bits and pieces I have on hand and not specifically cut up fabric but work only from scraps.  I love a rainbow after a good rain so figured on a rainbow type layout since this will be a comfort quilt I'll keep on hand to give to someone in the future who may need some rainbow cheer. 

With all of those decisions out of the way I set to work and came up with three columns 20 inches wide, scrappy, and in rainbow layout (blue and indigo mixed together).  Now I need to start the rainbow over again in each column in order to make them each about 80 inches long.   Well, maybe not that long because I'm thinking of adding HSTs to the top and bottom as a kind of border but we shall see how that goes when the time comes. 

I got bored with working on it (I'm surprised I got this far...I'm easily bored... or maybe distracted is a better word?) so put it away for another day when it calls to me.  I'm never in a rush to finish a quilt. Like a good pickle sometimes fermentation is critical! 

I still have lots of ready made bits and pieces in the project box but most are in cool colors so I need to work up something for the warmer colors  (crumbs?) - specifically red and yellow.  

Ad Hoc Improv Quilting with: 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

783 Spools: A Finish!

81 x 87
Hand quilted

783 three inch spools.
I made a few spools from scraps in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month from 2014-2016. 

I even twirled the seams on all these darned things so they would lay flat.  I was glad I did that when I decided to hand quilt. 

I am thinking this is truly a "charm quilt" in that no two spools are the same. But I actually am not sure. I keep thinking I see some fabrics in more than one spool but with making spools over a period of years I can't be absolutely certain a particular 1.5 inch scrap didn't get carried over from one year to the next. 

It's kind of a fun I Spy quilt (for me).  

I like quilts with lots of different fabrics because that's how my paternal grandmother always made her quilts - with lots of different fabrics from old clothes and whatnot.  I used to love to inspect the quilt and look at all the fabrics. Sometimes grandma would tell me stories about who wore the dress or shirt and how it was then sometimes made into something else like an apron before it finally arrived in a quilt. 

Originally I was thinking of quilting this on my DSM but it looked so "vintage" to me that I just felt it needed some hand quilting.  I had always wanted to hand quilt some Baptist Fans so decided this was the quilt that needed it.   I hand quilted with ecru (or was it white?) perle #12 that just happened to be on clearance which also convinced me the time was right to quilt some Baptist Fans.   I am soooooo glad I made that decision. It just adds to the vintage feel I was getting from this quilt.   It also adds LOTs of texture. 

I used a piece of dark brown polka dot fabric for binding. I had just enough for eight 2.5 inch pieces width of fabric which I thought would be enough to finish this off.   I never actually measure out my binding precisely before I sew it on  - I just kind of guesstimate how many pieces I need.   When I get down close to where I started I then cut off how much is extra, sew a joining seam, etc.   Well...I did NOT have enough binding and no more brown polka dot fabric left to add and nothing in the leftover binding fabrics looked like it would work. But there was a white on white piece of leftover binding in there so I added that and decided it would be my quilt label.   I used a sharpie and wrote: "Spools   2017" and my name, city and state.     Since I'm terrible at labeling quilts it worked for me.  In fact I might use that trick more often. 

The backing was a nice sheet from the thrift store. It had kind of a vintage feel too (and even had butterflies). 


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Red Scraps - Potpourri Edition

Red is the color of the month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. But that's about to change soon. 

I used 4.5 inch scraps to make some Flying Geese bodies.  For the other part (wings?) I have been using secondary colors if the color of the month is a primary color and vice versa. 

Last week when I was working with 3.5 inch scraps I made the bottom sets of butterfly wing HSTs and now this week when I was working with 4.5 inch scraps for the Flying Geese I made the top sets of wings and paired the two up in some red butterflies.   I've also (obviously) been using up bits and pieces of white on white (WOW) scraps. 

And, oh those waste triangles! I had lots of red ones in the box. I  have been saving blue on blue (BOB) or blue solid scraps for the "sky" background for these little butterflies - a kaleidoscope of butterflies! 

I have hundreds of these little four inch blocks now so maybe I need to decide just how many is enough.  ( I wonder if I can count that high). 

I also used waste triangles in these Wonky Stars (with 2 inch scrap backgrounds and red center). 

Then I used more waste triangles (I have gads of them - that's what you call a box of waste triangles, right? - a gad) on some Wonky Hearts.  The hearts were 2 x 4.5 red scraps and I used white waste triangles for the background. I have lots of white waste triangles so was experimenting a little with those hearts. I'm thinking I might use them as Wonky Log Cabin centers. 

Then I used a couple of scrap chunks to make my improv circle.  I have been using red and brown as my constants in these along with the RSC color so only made one. 

Then I made 3 large Burgoyne Surrounded blocks with bits and pieces of different red/pinkish scraps.  (I made the one in the upper right previously so just used it to fill in for the photo.)  Now that I see them together I'm thinking I'll skip the sashing and just make more blocks.  I really don't like making sashing/adding sashing strips so why torture myself?  But, then again, when I look at the inspiration quilt  I'm thinking maybe making/adding sashing isn't really that painful. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Owls and the Pussycats - No Beautiful Pea-Green Boats

I amused myself today (because it was too cold to work outside) with making 10 inch Sawtooth Stars out of owls and pussycats. 

I seem to have lots of bits and pieces of owl and pussycat scraps so decided they could live together in a few quilts instead of sailing away in a pea-green boat. 

  This is version 1 of the Owls and the Pussycats. 

This version is made from the larger scraps.  Other versions will be made from the other sized scraps. I'm curious as to how many versions of the Owl and the Pussycat quilt there will be.

Stay tuned...
These are all of the blocks I made before I got bored and moved on to something else. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Owls in the Barn Door

Owls in the Barn Door
48 x 60
It's just a top right now.

I thought it would be clever to shoot the Owls in the Barn Door next to an actual barn door but didn't notice the hunk of crap that blew into the raspberry brambles in front of the barn door.  So, I am not as clever or artsy- fartsy as I thought I was.  

Anyway...after completed this will go to Camp Hobe, one of this year's Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge Charities.   Camp Hobe is a summer camp for kids undergoing cancer treatment and their siblings. 

12 inch Hole in the Barn Door Quilt blocks with owls in the barn door. 

Now to go piece some batting and find a backing...

I hope to finish this up asap so making it my 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Down and Dirty on the Farm

Down and Dirty on the Farm

From the looks of things I haven't worked on this UFO since December 2014 when I started it and made 8 blocks and rehearsed centers.     At that time I called it Garden Party but the fabrics I have been throwing in the box seem to depict more than just gardening so now I think I'll all it Down and Dirty on the Farm.  I was thinking of calling it Farmer in the Dell but I don't have any nurse or cheese fabrics.   

But I digress...I made about 20 or so more blocks yesterday; four of which make up a bigger block.  I still have a lot more blocks to make. I think I need 68 for the quilt in the book (Adding Layers by Kathy Doughty - quilt named House Party)  but mine will probably be larger.  And I'm still rehearsing centers for those bigger blocks.   I had some big veggie fabric in the project box I might use for some centers. 

And I also have some large floral fabrics that might be nice for some centers. 

I have fun working with colorful and fun novelties especially when it's dreary outside.  Normally I get bored with a block after I cut and make a couple. But these are fun.  And I figured out an easier way to cut pieces for the blocks (not cutting 4 1/8 piece in quarters for side pieces but using EZ angle ruler  to cut from 2.5 inch pieces the same as the rest of the block) so that process has sped up a little. 

 So the block making went on and on...

...and on and on...

 ...and on.     I'm ready to sew more blocks but am tired of them for now. On to the next project/UFO. I'll get back to this one later...hopefully before two years have passed. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

ABC, 123, Rainbow I Spy #1 of 5

I Spy #1 of 5
40 x 60

Ready to give as a shower gift next Saturday
(I just need to go buy a couple of books to include with the quilt. Books and a quilt...sometimes a stuffed animal or rattle are my usual baby gifts. )

I spy the color green, I spy something you can eat, I spy a bird, I spy the letter P...

I usually also include a couple of blocks with numbers at the beginning and end so you can find numbers.   The letters of the alphabet are iron on.  I iron them on after the quilting is done.  

I quilted it with spirals on my old plain Jane Janome since Brother Bob is not working very well these days.  I pieced together some batting and used some flannel monkeys on the back. I pre-washed the flannel since I knew it would shrink and darn it if it didn't shrink enough so that I was about one inch short in width so had to piece the backing.   Luckily I bought enough for several quilts.  

I had just enough of an  orange solid that matched the orange monkeys on the back so used it for the binding. 


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Red 3.5 Scrap Edition

Red is the color of the month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. This week I decided to work with my 3.5 inch scraps.   I did have quite a few red scraps; however, I've also been trying to move forward my old Florabunda UFO, a Bonnie Hunter quilt along from 2011, I think!  

These are actually 9 inch Jacob's Ladder blocks in floral fabrics on a yellow background inspired by a 1940s quilt. 

So the first thing I did was pick out a few red floral fabrics I haven't already used in my Florabunda blocks and make more blocks. 

And then I was left with some 3.5 inch red scraps to add to the pile so I can use the scraps up right away in my other scrap only blocks and not let those scraps linger!  (The 2 inch scraps are used later in some other blocks). 

Then I made some Glitter blocks (cut from 3.5 inch scraps some of which you may recognize from the Florabunda blocks I just made). The instructions for these blocks can be found in the book Quilt Lovely by Jen Kingwell. 

Then if there was enough of a scrap left for six inch Bow Tie blocks I made some of those.  And I remembered this time to use 2 inch pieces for the flippy corners instead of 1.5 pieces like I did on last month's Bow Ties.  I put a note in the project bag with them so I won't forget . 

The reason I get confused by the flippy corner pieces is because I always remember to use 1.5 flippy corners on my 3 inch snowballs because they might get combined with 3 inch Nine Patches which are made from 1.5 inch pieces.    I cut scraps for Bow Ties and then for Snowballs (if there's enough) at the same time and it seems in my mind they should use the same size flippy corners. But they don't (although I have seen instructions for six inch bow ties that use 1.5 inch pieces and others that use 2 inches. I guess I'll be using both.)

But I never forget about ScrapHappy Saturday

Friday, March 17, 2017

Of Irish Ancestry

Sometimes it's a holiday that helps me decide which of the gazillion UFOs I should work on. 
I made some 6 inch Nine Patches for my Emerald Isle quilt.  

Have I mentioned that my paternal ancestors were Irish? 
My maiden name was JOYNT. 

 I'm a descendant of David Joynt and Bridget McDermott of Ashfield Demesne, Beagh Parish, Galway, Ireland. 

(Genealogy has also been one of my hobbies starting way back even before there was a public internet, home PCs, and back when  most microfilm readers were hand cranked). 

Did you notice the little Leprechaun in the nine patches? 
The employees I've supervised all these years gave him to me in lieu of a retirement card and they signed the back.  I was lucky to have hardly any turnover of fact most employees I've hired have worked for me anywhere from 10-25 years. I'll miss them. 

I have a little knickknack shelf of Irish whimsy and the Leprechaun has now joined the group. 

Well, anyway, back to the 9 patches and the Emerald Isle quilt. 

It's the center medallion of my Emerald Isle quilt celebrating my Irish ancestry.  The next part of the quilt involves lots of green nine patches.  

Here's a photo of the ancestral home in 1959...

...and here it is in 1976.    

Happy  St. Patrick's Day ! 

Thursday, March 16, 2017


The Sunshine Online Quilt Guild members make quilts for Quilts Beyond Borders and Wrap-A-Smile.  A monthly Lotto is one of the activities.   Each month members have the option to make  any number of pairs of 12 inch blocks of choice in the month's theme.   One block of the pair goes toward a charity quilt and the other goes into a Lotto drawing.   I haven't participated for awhile but decided to join in again.  This month's theme is GREEN.   From scraps I made two Tennessee blocks and two Nine Patch blocks and mailed them on their merry way. 

My blue scraps went toward four 8 inch Broken Dishes Stars

I haven't won in awhile but it's fun to try at least one of the block of the month. 

Of course my sewing machine is a year old today and out of warranty so what happens? It starts acting up...thread keeps catching in the bobbin....cleaned bobbin area, tried different bobbin, tried different spool of thread, changed needle, messed with tension...cussed a little...tomorrow is another day.   Now I'm hand quilting. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sometimes It's the Weather

Sometimes the weather helps me decide which of my gazillion UFOs to work on. 

SNOWFLAKES that finish at 7 inches.  Not trimmed. 

I need to decide on finished layout so I know how many more  I need. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Sometimes I Actually Cut Into New Fabrics and Don't Use Scraps

I call them Apron Strings blocks.  They finish at 8 3/4 inches and are a bit fiddly. I'm using my kitchen themed fabrics.  This has been a UFO for a long time so I decided to delve back into it and make a few blocks . I think I now have 26 or so blocks and am aiming for 36. 

The block is from the book History Repeated.  See it there on the front cover? 
The actual name of the block is Wheel of Fortune. 
My sashing will be gingham with chicken scratch just like those old aprons I have in my collection of old aprons. 

Now you know why I call my blocks Apron Strings. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

At The End of the Rainbow

At The End of the Rainbow
56 x 63

Inspired by Red Centre in Making Quilts by Kathy Doughty

This was one of last year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects. I made a few of the blocks (well, not really blocks - maybe call them units?) each month from 4.5 inch scraps. 

I didn't have much of anything in my stash that looked right for border pieces so did purchase a little fabric that seemed to go with a rainbow quilt - birds against a rainbow sky and a rainbow of paw prints.   I had some rainbow looking stripe fabric that I used for the binding but didn't have enough so used what was left of the birds to add the necessary length. 

I had enough machine quilting thread in all colors of the rainbow to use to straight stitch along the straight sides of the blocks and then also used white to stitch along each straight side of the white sections.   BUT I hand quilted in perle #12 along each zig zaggy sides of the colored sections in the neutral areas.  I really didn't want to have turn the quilt on my DSM in order to stitch along the zig and zags and found big stitching to actually be quicker and easier. 

I had this rick rack fabric in my stash meaning to use it with some 30s repro quilts but decided this was the right place for it.   BUT I didn't have enough after I so carefully matched the rick rack when stitching up the fabric to be wide enough (or was it to be long enough?)...anyway I had to cut a piece off one side to add to the back but still didn't have enough so those birds came out to play again on the backing.  And that's the way it goes...

Now I'll mail this(after I find the right box) to my youngest brother, Steve,  who lives far far away in a land called Florida. I hope it's a pleasant surprise to say I love you, I'm thinking of you and take care of yourself and your heart.    He unexpectedly had quadruple bypass surgery last year around Easter after he suffered two heart attacks.