Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Just Working on Garden Patchwork

I've been working on garden patchwork instead of fabric patchwork. 

Seems like most of the flowers that bloom in May are purple or blue- trillium, pansies, allium, iris, rhododendron, indigo, geraniums, petunias, lilacs, farewell to spring, cornflower.   

Veggies and flowers are all planted.  Time to battle bugs and critters who eat sprouts and leaves. Rains have stopped for now.  Let the weeding commence! 

Monday, May 29, 2017

When It's Too Hot to Hand Quilt

All God's Creatures Great and Small
For when it's too hot to hand quilt. (It's not yet but just planning ahead). 
Screwed one up already.

Gardening later. I saw the sunrise!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Two Donation Quilts
Both 40 x 60

Both are safari or maybe jungle themed.   I had a bunch of different sized Happy Blocks that loosely fit that theme. I had more than enough for one quilt but not enough for two.  So I rooted through my novelty squares and...

...made a few more blocks so I had enough for two quilts.  

For the first one I dug through scraps that were kind of wild or jungley and framed all 10 of the blocks in the outer columns so they were 12 inches square.  For the middle 5 blocks I framed them so they were 14 inches wide and 12 inches in length.  This was so I would have my total 40 inches in width for the quilt. 

Once I had all the various sized blocks ready I just sewed the columns together. 

I quilted it with some rudimentary jungle leaves on my DSM

For the backing I used some flannel with monkeys.   For the binding I used up all the black/black background pieces of binding from the leftover bindings box. 

For the second quilt I used some orange solid leftover from a quilt I made someone with leukemia. Orange is the color of the leukemia awareness ribbon.   I had some brown solid leftover from making a quilt back and I had some green solid my daughter brought me from a box of garage sale odds and ends.   As you can see I alternately bordered the eight inch Happy Blocks with orange and brown on two sides only with some 2.5 inch strips to bring them up to 10 inches (finished).  

I quilted the square areas with some rudimentary leaves and loopy vines but decided to try some curvy jungle vines in the orange and brown areas (to tone down that orange???) in brown.   I had some bobbins in brown machine quilting thread I wanted to use up.  I never tried jungle vines before and I definitely need to work on them but I think they will do. 

On the back it looks like these flannel monkeys are swinging from the vines.  I bound this one in green like the corner stones in the front of the quilt.   That used up the garage sale green and most of that orange.  I still have some brown left to use in another kid's quilt and I think I have some teddy bear bits and pieces and some brown polka dot scraps to go with that.   

While sewing I normally don't listen to anything except the marbles rolling around in my head and nature sounds outside my window but for some reason I kept hearing strains of The Lion Sleeps Tonight over and over and over in my head.  

It has been raining and raining and raining and raining so I can't get out to work in the garden for any long spells so I've spent my time quilting up most of the kid's donation tops I've had sitting here.  Now I'm once again out of batting and almost out of kid's quilt tops and backings so I will have to move on to something else when it rains (or have an excuse to start something new?)

 I like to donate quilts locally or to Quilts Beyond Borders or to Wrap-A-Smile. 

Just getting one of these finished was my goal #2 for

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Green Scraps: Waste Triangle Edition

This week I used my green waste triangles to make some little Wonky Stars that finish at 4.25 inches. 

And some little green butterflies on blue solids or tone on tones that finish at 4 inches.  I have about ten - twelve more but this is all that would fit on my cutting mat covered with batting photo wall.  I think I have over 300 of these now so I guess it's about time to decide what to do with them.

Update:  I thought I would show you the actual size of the waste triangles I use.   These are some of the green waste triangles I haven't made into butterflies yet. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Decisions, Decisions...

I have some old Chunky Churn Dashes in 30s reproductions from a swap.  I was thinking I would finish a quilt of these this quarter. I think I have maybe 50 or so of these six inch blocks and originally I was thinking I would set them on point.  But that doesn't give me a very big quilt and I was not thinking of making any more blocks. I was also thinking I don't really like to add borders. 

I was thinking I had a bunch of nine patches in 30s repros but then remembered I had combined most of them with some apple blocks when I made my Ten Apples Up on Top quilt for the hope chest. 

Well, what do the Chunky Churns look like combined with nine patches?  They look like they kind of get lost in the shuffle...might as well just have a nine patch quilt. 

Ok, well what if I combine the CCDs with nine patches with white corners? 
Maybe...but I don't have very many of these nine patches and what I do have are thrown in with other six inch 30s repro blocks for a 30s mish-mash quilt. 

I have a whole bunch of framed four patches in 30s reproductions but they are eight inch blocks which means I would have to frame the CCDs in order to bring them up to the same size. 

Well, what else do I have? 

Well, really I have no other 30s repro blocks to play with but...

...if I wanted to combine with some calicos instead of staying with strictly 30s I do have a lot of calico and muslin spools. 

Decisions, decisions...

Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Finish: Bright and Wild

Bright and Wild
42 x 63
A donation quilt

Long ago I used to swap Happy Blocks quarterly with a group of ladies until the group kind of fizzled out.  These blocks have 4.5 inch centers and 2 inch sides so finish at 7 inches.  Each quarter there was a theme and the theme for these was Bright and Wild. 

 I have a box of various sized and themed Happy Blocks (I call it the Happy Place) and when I was digging in it I came across this pile and  I found I didn't have enough for a donation quilt for kids which I usually make at least 40 x 60.  So I made several more blocks to fit the theme. And then made a quilt. Now the box is just a little lighter and I have a quilt to donate. 

I quilted with spirals on my DSM.  I used all the bright and wild pieces of leftover binding to bind the quilt.   Most of the places I donate request the binding be sewn on by machine but I really have a problem with this on my Brother. (It was never a problem on the old Janome so I might have to go use it from now on.)  Anyway, no matter which stitch I use  - in this case zig zag- stitches get skipped at irregular intervals and I don't know why.  It's kind of strange.  There's stitches there they just don't zag when they are supposed to all the time.   The same thing happened when I tried the blanket stitch  on a quilt. 

I used the other half of the thrift store sheet leftover from backing a different quilt a few months back. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Finish: Smooth Sailing

Smooth Sailing
40 x 60
Machine quilted on my DSM
A donation quilt for Quilts Beyond Borders or Wrap-A-Smile

(Sorry for the blurry photo - it was a windy day)

This quilt started out a long time ago with a couple of blocks (those sailboat Happy Blocks) I pulled out of a pile of some Sunshine Online Quilt Guild  block lotto winnings.  I felt I could build a separate quilt around those two blocks and used the rest of the lotto winnings in other quilts. I put the Happy Sailboats in a box along with some blue scraps I had on hand. As time passed I would throw any blue scraps that represented sea or sky into the box.  Then one day I had the making of a quilt.  So I made it. 

I usually make my donation quilts for QBB or WAS 40 x 60 so kept that in mind as I built the quilt.  I first made that 12 inch Sailboat Block with rainbow sails for the center of the quilt to go with the two Happy Blocks.  Then I...

...made a couple of Sawtooth Star blocks for the sky section of the quilt. 

Then I just added the scrappy bits and pieces chunk by chunk, piece by piece, bit by bit to the appropriate section of the quilt - either sea or sky. 

As you can see I quilted the sky section with loops and stars on my DSM. 

I quilted the sea section with waves. 

The backing is pieced. The bottom piece of clouds and moon I picked it up from the thrift store quilt a while ago.  The top piece of outer space fabric is a left over piece of 100% cotton sheet I had picked up from the thrift store and used on another quilt. 

This was goal #3 from my Q2 Finish-Along list. 

Sewing for charity so linking up to:

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

It's a Top! : A Snowball's Chance

A Snowball's Chance

It's just a top for now. There's still work to be done. 
56 x 77

It was supposed to be 59.5 wide instead of 56 because I was thinking I would cut those sashing strips at 3 inches but accidentally cut them at 2.5 instead.  Too sad...

Way back in July 2014 Sophie (of Block Lotto) introduced us to what she called a Spoke block. It finished at 7 inches.  (Coincidentally it is also this month's block of the month at Block Lotto but in a different size and color way). 

I really didn't like making the block...don't exactly know why...but I thought it looked like a snowflake and happened to have some snowflake fabrics leftover from making my daughter a snowball (and snowman) and nine patch quilt using what else? Snowflake and snowmen fabrics.  So I kept the Spoke that looked like Snowflake in mind for those snowflake fabrics someday. 

One of my old Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects from a few years ago was a Dresden quilt on different gray backgrounds that I recently finished.   I had some bits and pieces and odds and ends of some gray solids left over from that quilt.   Feeling flaky in November 2015 I started making some Snowflake blocks using those snowflake fabrics and the gray background.    (note: 2015!!!! ) You know...gray skies...snowflakes...they go together, don't they?  Now remember when I said I really didn't like making the block? (if not see previous paragraph) ...well, I didn't make any more Snowflakes until a year later in December 2016 (time flies).  Off and on I made a few more here and there until one day I had a little box of them on a shelf along with a few snowflake strips and some gray odds and ends....a UFO.    And like Horton on the lazy Maisie bird's sat and it sat and it sat.

The last couple of years I've been trying to finish up UFOs and fabric scraps and strings and such and the Snowflakes moved to my second quarter Finish-A-Long list (#18).  (I know what you are thinking now...there's not a snowball's chance in hell she will finish everything on that list).   Ok. What to do? What to do? 

In the meantime...
I was looking at different free motion quilting ideas at Lori Kennedy's blog Inbox Jaunt and happened to see The Snowflake - a free motion quilting tutorial.  Hey, isn't that cool? Wouldn't that be cool on a Snowflake quilt?  Columns of snowflakes. Hmmmm...

And for all you who think that snowballs don't ever have a chance in hell...have hope!  Miracles sometimes do happen! 

Ad Hoc Improv Quilting with 

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Finish: Country Nine Patch

Country Nine Patch
72 x 90
Machine quilted and tied

I swapped these nine inch blocks a very long time ago.  I'm not sure why I left these on my UFO list for so long but I'm glad I can cross another quilt off the list.  It's a nice twin sized quilt so I'm thinking I will put it in the to-be-donated-or-gifted pile.   It's nice to have a few spares in that pile for unexpected events. 

I would have stitched in the ditch if I could stay in the ditch.  Instead I sewed on the diagonal 1/4 inch or so inside the diagonal seams depending upon which side of the seam I was sewing on. With the nine patches on the diagonal the stitching sometimes ended up in the nine patch and sometimes outside the nine patch.  

I used some variegated cream, blue, brown yarn leftover from crocheting hats to tie the quilt in the center of the nine patches and where the blocks meet.  The quilt just called for it.  I haven't tied a quilt for a long time (since the 70s?) so it was kind of fun to do for a change.  I think it took as long to tie the quilt as it did to machine stitch around the nine patches.   I bound it with a sort of country red I had in the stash. 

For the backing I used a country looking 100% cotton sheet I found at the thrift store. 

It really feels good to empty a box, free up some space and finish an old UFO!! 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

In the Hoops

May Baskets

The 30s Baskets quilt is in the hoop.   This quilt has two different basket blocks in it. Some are from swaps.  One basket block was smaller than the other so I added some sashing strips around those blocks to bring them up to the same size as the larger block.  I then alternated blocks and set them on point. 

I'm hand quilting inside the fabrics on the larger blocks and outside the basket on the smaller blocks.  And I'm stitching on both sides of the sashings. 

And one of the things I've had in my Take-Along bag is this little stamped block for a pillow.  I picked up a few of these stamped embroidery kits last year (or was it the year before?) on clearance for little or nothing so I couldn't resist.   I see a lot of pillows in my future because that's one of the ways I'm going to use all of the little, little, little pieces of batting scraps taking up space around here. 

Slow Sunday Stitching  with others at Kathy's Quilts

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Green 2.5 Scrap Addition And Then Some

With 2.5 inch green scraps I made some six inch Plus blocks...

...some ten inch Lady of the Lake blocks (six inch centers are from green scrap chunks and HSTs from 2.5 scraps)...

...and a  twelve inch ship with green sails. 

And then I went back to the green scrap chunks and made some improv circles.  Actually these are made from more than green scrap chunks...I've been using red and brown as my constants with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month.  

I'm not the only one using green scraps this month. You'll see when you visit ScrapHappy Saturday and read all about it. 

I still have 4.5 inch green scraps and some waste triangles to play with for next week. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Time to Think About Filling in the Holes

I've been spending most of my time getting the garden planted but it's raining today. 
So I just finished about 20 more of these blocks that use my farm and garden themed fabrics.  I have a big pile of them now so it's time to decide on how to fill in the "holes" and how big I want the quilt to be and to decide whether or not I want borders. 

I've slowly been making the quilt "House Party"  from Kathy Doughty's (of Material Obsession) book Adding Layers.   Her version finishes at 84 x 84 and has those 10 inch wide borders with applique.  Those applique shapes don't fit my theme, I'm not an applique person, I don't have anything in my stash I can use for borders that wide, do I want a quilt that big?   Decisions, decisions.  

I actually think I will skip the border (not a definite decision) and make it a little longer.  I don't think I want this as a big bed sized quilt and without borders it will be 64 x 64.   If I add another row at the bottom it should end up to be about 64 x 80. 

Right now I'll concentrate on what to put in the center of the blocks and get some of those finished. 

Oh, and my quilt is definitely not a House Party...I was thinking it was more of a Garden Party but then I added in some farm fabrics so I'm thinking my quilt is more of a Barn Dance than a House Party. 

Back to the center of the blocks...rehearsing fabrics like this...

...and this...

...and this...

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Velveteen Rabbit

The Velveteen Rabbit
It's all hand quilted and finished now. 
I have to admit I don't square up my quilts and only measure them when I post a finish.  Normally top and bottom are the same measurement and sides are the same measurement.   Not this time! Can you tell?  The quilt is 43 x 58 x 44 x 60. 

Sally who blogs at The Objects of Design shared a tutorial for making the standing bunnies.   I started making them on my Janome and finished making them on a new Brother. Unfortunately when I bought the Brother I did not have the needle set correctly for a quarter inch seam so the Brother Bunnies turned out slightly larger.  So, I made the Rabbits hop up and down in the quilt.     I used a variety of neutral background fabrics (mainly because I didn't think I had enough of any particular one) and like how sometimes a butterfly just happened to turn up on a Bunny belly or a Rabbit ear.  

The rabbits were made of bits and pieces of mostly brown fabrics (scrap chunks). 

I hand quilted with regular brown quilting thread on the rabbits and with perle #12 ecru in the sashing areas. 

I actually included a Velveteen Rabbit at the end.  It's velveteen from an old skirt of mine. I made the skirt and wore it and wore it until it no longer fit.  I love velveteen so saved it to remake into something else someday - after all...velveteen was not cheap when I was skinny and made that skirt. 

The backing is fabric with rabbits.   And I free pieced the words "Get Real" to add to the back. 

"It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.” 
― Margery Williams BiancoThe Velveteen Rabbit

I had enough Velveteen to make a matching stuffed rabbit.  

The quilt and stuffed rabbit are going into the hope chest for the first great grandchild.  I was going to add my copy of The Velveteen Rabbit but can't find it. I think I gave it to my first grandchild, Isabelle, when she was born.  I'll have to buy another copy. 

And it will probably be awhile before the quilt, rabbit and book make it out of the hope chest. My oldest grandkids are 12.   I like to plan ahead.  I like to be prepared.