Tuesday, June 27, 2017

MoROSE Garden

MoROSE Garden is now a top!
It measures 84 x 96 and has been a UFO since 2012.  

Fast forward to this year. I'm determined to finish up all the unfinished things around here now that I'm retired.   I had forgotten about these 4 inch hourglass units but found them last month in a bag in my box of rose themed fabrics. 

I also found a magazine with the inspiration photo and some math that looks like the block count and layout?   Anyway...I could see that the magazine photo was only inspiration because I didn't follow the instructions that went with it.  My hourglass units are four inches. The hourglass units in the photo are 3 inches and are made using a different method.  

Also in the bag was a strip of 20 hourglass units by 5 rows all sewn together with LOTS of pins in it. (Pins removed before photo taken).  It looked like a vodoo doll with all those pins.  I think there were more pins in this than my pincushion.   The pins marked all those intersections where the points didn't meet perfectly which was almost every intersection.   This Type A personality could not handle this imperfection so the poor quilt section with pins and unused hourglass units have been fermenting in a bag in a box for almost 5 years. 

So what to do? What to do?  I ripped out the five rows that bothered me so I was back to 500 hourglass units.  Now, I hate ripping but I told you I want to finish UFOs so rip, rip, rip I went while I drank a glass (or two) of homemade wine on the deck and listened to the birds serenade me (these birds don't sew like in the animated version of Cinderella - didn't those birds dress her too? or was that some other fantasy?)  I had to rip because I needed a new start in order to finish this UFO.   

Then I threw that Type A lady in the bag and into the box and locked her away. And I gave myself permission to be imperfect.  I still had to try my best.  And with that I sewed like the wind. 

And the heavens didn't open up and lightning strike me dead.  No quilt police came knocking at my door.  BUT a UFO is that much closer to a finish. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

I Spy a Finish

I Spy
40 x 48
For baby Marshall, my grandnephew, who entered the world a few days ago and a few days before grandnephew, Tyberius, who already has his quilt.  (Only 3 more quilts to go for this year - oh, the joys of a very large extended family!!!)

Baby and parents can play I Spy and spy colors, numbers, letters, pictures, things that start with a letter...and so on.  I suppose you could even spy some shapes and when they get older find something that rhymes with ?

I like to use these velvety iron on letters. I iron them on next to the pic that starts with the letter but don't put them all in the same spots next to each pic so kids have to hunt around.  The velvety feel gives an  extra tactile sensation when kids trace the letters.   Now...I'm not sure Marshall will be able to identify T for Telephones that look like that or even S for Stamp so he will get a history lesson with his quilt too. 

In order to get 30 blocks for a 5 x 6 layout I add fabrics with numbers and letters at the beginning and end. 

I backed it with some flannel with monkeys on it. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Embroidering Roses

I'm embroidering on a set of old pre-stamped pillowcases.  After I've finished the embroidery on two pillowcases I'll crochet an edging on both.  I might also make a set of pillowcases from that rose fabric in the background.   After all...I do have several rose themed quilts in the works so might as well make some rose themed pillowcases for the bed too. 

Normally I stamp or trace my own embroidery patterns but my daughter brought me these pillowcases she found in her mother-in-law's things after she passed away several years ago. (My daughter fishes, forages and gardens but doesn't go near any type of needle despite my best efforts to lure her near one). 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Dwindling of the Yellow 3.5 Scraps

I didn't have many yellow scraps to use up this month in any size, shape or form.   I really was short on 3.5 inch yellow scraps.    I made a few Glitter (from Quilt Lovely by Jen Kingwell) blocks... 

...and a few six inch bow ties and even fewer 3 inch snowballs. 

Looking forward to a new Rainbow Scrap Challenge color to use in July. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Every Rose Has It's Thorns

 After making hundreds and hundreds of HSTs the last week or so- It's a top! 
I haven't actually measured it but it calculates to be 90.496 x 90.496.  (16 x 1.414 x 4)

Here's the bottom row you can't really see in the last photo. 

I started making 12 inch Rosebud blocks in solids of colors you might find in roses back in 2009. (My paper print of the pattern from Quilter's Cache tells me so).  Over the years I had made 49 blocks using rose themed fabrics in the background.  I was thinking I would just set the blocks in rows 7 x 7 and be done with it. 

But then that ugly olive green fabric with roses on it kept nagging me to be used as thorns. I had a lot of it and I normally don't have a lot of any one fabric. Thorns, huh? Okay...so if you remember a previous post you know I tried that olive green fabric paired up with some lime green fabric  and made some HSTs and they were yucky.  And yet that olive green rose themed fabric kept nagging to be used.  On and on it nagged  - a thorn in my side.   Ok...so I didn't have much of any one fabric to pair with the thorns so I used some of the pieces of neutral smaller flowered roses to make some HSTs.   The nagging stopped and sixteen inch blocks with Rosebuds and thorns were born. 

Then I decided to put blocks on point and had to decide what to do for side pieces.  For the on point setting I only needed 25 blocks and I had 49 so I decided to cut up 16 blocks for the side and corner pieces.   That was difficult for me to do since the blocks couldn't be cut exactly in half - they needed to have the extra 1/4 inch seam allowance which left me with a less than perfect half block left over.  But I just told myself the blocks weren't doing me any good just sitting around in a box for years either so cut and cut I did.   (I'll think of something to do with the leftovers). 

 Here's how the corner blocks looked after getting cut up.   Did I say that was very difficult for me to do? 

And I thought all was well and good until I went to take it down from the line and found some mutant thorns.   And so it goes. 

I have a couple of rose themed sheets I picked up long ago from the thrift store but don't remember the size of them. If one is big enough I'll use it for the backing. If not...I don't know what I'll use.  I do think I will try to quilt this on my DSM with some roses sans thorns. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

All Creatures Great and Small

All Creatures Great and Small Hexagons

I try to finish one per day.  I now have 20 hexies.
They are 3 inches per side and I use ladder stitch to sew pieces together. I like it better than whip stitching pieces together. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Yellow 2.5 Inch Scraps (and Then Some)

Wild Ladies of the Lake
10 inch blocks

This week I pulled out the yellow 2.5 inch scraps. There wasn't much to work with but I did manage to make a few blocks. 

Eight inch Depression Block and 12 inch Ship Block

I found my pile of eight inch Depression Blocks I have made over the years with my 2.5 inch scraps.  I forgot about them because I didn't put them in the box with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects.  It looks like I have about 58 (now 59) of them.   I want a big quilt out of them so need about double that amount. 

Garden patchwork of yellow flowers. 
Snapdragons, pansies, tomato blossoms, roses, day lilies, oriental lilies, roses, dutchman's pipe.
 WARNING: Dutchman's pipe is invasive around here. Gosh...I spend a lot of time pulling this vine out of my flower gardens. 

When it's not too hot or too rainy but when it's just right I work out in the gardens.  

Friday, June 16, 2017

Into Every Rainbow Some Life Must Fall

Coin Toss
It's a top! 
63 x 77

I knew immediately I was going to make a rainbow, use bits and pieces from the "parts department" and make it approximately 60 x 80 and when finished it would go into a pile for donation to someone who needed some rainbow cheer. 

I first gathered together bits and pieces I had laying around here in one color.  That included some four patches, crumb blocks, miscellaneous four inch blocks, postage stamp blocks, leftover rail fence type pieces, ends of 2.5 inch scraps I had sewn together into strips.   I made some stars out of crumb blocks to get bigger blocks and I made some red flying geese but other than that I basically just had to sew a few four patches, postage stamp and crumb blocks together into strips measuring 20.5 inches.   

Rows and columns are separated by 1.5 inch blue (sky behind the rainbow) strips. 

When the three columns were all sewn together I had an almost squarish quilt at 63 inches in width and 65 inches in length.   That was a little off my goal of 80 inches in length so I raided my chunks milk crate for some 6.5 inch pieces in rainbow colors and made some six inch HSTs for the top and bottom - arranging HSTs in rainbow order.  I think I intended the color side of the HST to be next to the main body of the quilt with the blue on the outside but sewed them all together in reverse order so that's how it goes. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

It's a Top! Selvage Yard

Selvage Yard
84 x 84
It's a top for now

I was going to use the Sunshine and Shadows log cabin layout but since I ended up with an uneven number of blocks across and down (7) I decided on the Fields and Furrows layout. 

I didn't notice until I took this photo that the last block is not turned properly.  And so it goes...I hate ripping especially if it's a scrap quilt. 

I used lots of selvages but still have a box of them...at this rate maybe enough for two more quilts. When I first started saving selvages long long ago I barely left any fabric on them so lots of these selvages are very narrow. So it took lots of selvages and lots of thread to make it around one twelve inch block. 

I had a lot of fun reading the selvages as I put the quilt together. It doesn't take much to amuse me, I guess.   

For the block centers I used some 4.5  inch pieces of sewing related fabrics I had leftover from some other projects. 

And ooops! I see a few little holes here and there where selvages didn't meet that I need to fix. 

Now...how to quilt?...how to quilt?    But first I need to figure out what to use for a backing. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Blind Man's Fancy Tea in the Rose Garden

I already posted about the block in the lower right corner. Now there are three more to join it. 

Blind Man's Fancy Tea in the Rose Garden
15 inch Blind Man's Fancy block using tea and rose themed fabrics. 
There will eventually be flying geese for sashing. 

My rose garden needs water! It's been hot, hot, hot and dry here. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Chicken Scratch Fever

I've been working on some chicken scratch.  I think I'll cut these strips apart to use for quilt sashing.   They will go into a quilt I'll call Grandma's Apron Strings.  I think I have about 12 or 13 more quilt blocks to make for a twin sized quilt so thought I better get moving on the chicken scratch sashing because I need a lot of it.  It's a nice summer project.  After I get enough strips completed for a row of sashing I'll  test it out with the blocks to see if I actually like my idea. 

In re chicken scratch: 
I used to visit the thrift stores weekly and I felt sorry for any hand work items that I found so I usually purchased them and gave them a good home.  I know the makers went to a lot of work to create the items only to have them unloved and unwanted and hanging out in a thrift store.  Over the years I picked up several aprons with chicken scratch.  I used to use them as a valance at the kitchen window (tied over the curtain rod) but when we remodeled the kitchen we put in new windows and moved them to a spot with a nice view so I got rid of the curtains/valance. 

The chicken scratch on the aprons runs all the way from elegant like above ...

...to very simple...

...and all sorts in between. 

Sometimes the chicken scratch looks like cross stitch.  

Back when I used to make clothes I chicken scratched on a purple gingham blouse I made and on a little pink gingham sundress I made my daughter when she was around 2 years old - both items long gone.   Years ago I made a project bag crazy quilt style from old blue jeans and chicken scratched on the yoke of the bag.   

I've also seen chicken scratch called depression lace or amish embroidery. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Using Scrap "Chunks": Burgoyne Surrounded

Burgoyne Surrounded

I've been making a few of these each month from my scrap "chunks" which I define as anything less than a fat quarter.   I have a whole milk crate of chunks.   I limit myself mostly to those chunks to make these blocks. Sometimes I don't have a low volume or neutral to use so I cut those from yardage but for the most part I stay with any fabrics I find in the scrap chunks.  After I make these blocks I have scraps left over cut from the chunks which I usually use right away in other blocks. 

I probably would not have made these blocks if I had to choose fabrics from the stash. Sometimes the fabric choices are too overwhelming so I never get the choices made.  I also find it rather challenging to try to fit my limited choices together in a block not necessarily everyone likes but that I like.  After all is said and done I end up with kind of the "make do" type of quilt my grandmother made from her scraps.  Her quilts were the end of the chain for fabric bits and pieces - mostly from worn clothing. 

I start these blocks with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month.  This month I dug through to find chunks of yellow.  There weren't many.  Then I dug through to see if I had other chunks that I could use with that yellow in a block. Each block takes two bold and two not so bold fabrics. 

So the only pieces not cut from scrap chunks?  The white floral background in the top left and the tan/white floral background in the top right. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Gardening Breaks

All God's Creatures Great and Small
A hexagon quilt in the making. 

I've found that hexies are a good thing to pick up, stitch a little and put back down on breaks from gardening.  I try to prep a few each day so they are available for stitching when I feel the urge for a break. 

I didn't think I'd ever make another hexie quilt but here I am stitching away. Never say never.  After I finished making a circle a day for the Quilty 365 quilt I felt I needed something else to make every day so I dug into my critter fabrics and All God's Creatures Great and Small was born. 

Rainbow of Favorite Things

I still have templates from when I made this hexie quilt started in 2011 and finished in 2013.  I think I need to make a few new templates. I used triangle graph paper printed from Incompetech to make my templates. This time I might try a few new configurations.  My Rainbow of Fav Things started out as a Hexalong with Lily's Quilts and I see the links she posted with information on making hexies is still there if you want to make one yourself. 

As you can see...I take a lot of gardening breaks! 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

I Don't Have a Handle on It

I have some civil war repro fabrics screaming to get out of their box.  It's not like I don't have a couple of cw fabric UFOs already that I could work on (Blind Man's Fancy, Sunny Lanes) and another bookmarked to start (Sunflowers).  I just don't feel like working on those quilts right now.  

I just finished a basket quilt - a couple of old UFOs combined into one.  I guess I needed to start another.  (Someday I should do a post on all the basket quilts I've made.)   

Martha (Q is for Quilter) posted about her latest vintage find - a little basket four patch.  Oh, how cute!   I had to make a few blocks before I forgot I wanted to make a similar quilt. 

My baskets are different from the ones in Martha's vintage find. 
 I  don't do applique handles (very often).   

My four patches finish at 8 inches - the baskets at 4 inches.  The baskets are a smaller version of one of the baskets in the May Baskets quilt I just finished.