Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Sashing of Grandma's Apron Strings

I finished the last of the 42 blocks I need for Grandma's Apron Strings (previously called Someone's In the Kitchen with Dinah until I decided on sashing and changed the name of the quilt). 

I had decided to try some chicken scratch for the sashing and so embroidered enough pieces for 17 sashings.   This morning I decided before I went any further with the embroidery that I should try it out and see if I like it. 

I like it but unfortunately my chicken scratch shrunk up the gingham piece a little so my carefully planned 9.25 piece of sashing is just a little too small.   I tried to starch and stretch it into submission but I think it will be a little too short the proper 1/4 inch seam allowance when I go to sew rows together.   And I'll hate myself if I don't do it right. 

So now I'll be ripping out this chicken scratch.   Then I'll see if I can save the other pieces I haven't cut apart yet because they are a little longer but the piece is frayed a little on each end.   Boohoo.   It takes a long time to embroider one of these strips and a lot of white embroidery thread which is running low and I need sashing enough for 42 blocks.   I also get bored after doing the chicken scratch embroidery for two or three pieces of sashing. 

So I guess I need to buy more white embroidery thread and get busy.   I'll take it as one of my hand work projects next week when we have a family reunion camp out.   

You may not see this quilt again for awhile!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Thursday, July 27, 2017

A New Top! Peacock Fans

 Peacock Fans
It's a Top
Twin bed sized
It's in the hand quilting pile now awaiting a backing and time to quilt (and cooler weather). 

I'll probably quilt around the peacock fans and then around the peacocks and "flowers"  in each square.  

I even tried mitered borders!  and think I got it right after two tries. 
I was afraid to cut the extra fabric away.  
I'll wait until I'm ready to sandwich it.  Just to be sure...

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


Now that I've finished my four inch hourglass quilt inspired by an antique quilt (MoROSE Garden) and I have the Type A lady locked out of the sewing room I made another hourglass block half the size (two inches finished) of the MoROSE Garden hourglasses. 

And now I have two twelve inch blocks. 

I made the other one last year after Kathy (Kathy's Quilts) posted about an antique hourglass quilt made by Clarissa White Alford that she saw at the Shelburne Museum.  Clarissa's quilt really spoke to me.  I just love antique quilts.  (And hey... coincidentally I have some White maternal ancestors - ggg grandfather Nathaniel White and gg grandmother Rachel White Smith. No relation to Clarissa, I'm sure. ) 

 Kathy started making blocks for her "Clarissa Quilt" last year and I made that one on the right but decided I had to hone my hourglass skills a little before I proceeded on.  Only forty more to go!  I'll probably make mine similar to Clarissa's (and Kathy's).  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

I Sent My Heart to a Robin and It Has Returned

This is the fourth year (I think) that I have joined a round robin called Cotton Robin.  You send off a center block, get someone's block to add a first border, get another block to add a second border and finally get a little quilt top to quilt and bind. 

I like to join in to things like this because it gets creative juices flowing, sometimes takes you out of your comfort zone and you always do your best work because it's someone else's quilt.  I'm not very good at adding borders to quilts so this gives me some practice. Plus at the end of it all you get a fantastic little quilt ready to hang on the wall in return. 

In January I sent off the middle six inch postage stamp heart and this is what was returned. It's always a surprise to see what other's think of adding to your center block. WOW. I love it! 

The first block I received to work on was the feather and white background.  I first added the thin black border and then the rest.  I thought and thought and thought and couldn't come up with what to add for a border and so finally remembered I had some scraps left over from making my Feather Bed quilt.  The scraps were already sewn on the diagonal like the center feather so all I did was cut strips and sew them on. 

I then sent it on to someone else to add the second border. 

 The next block I received to work on was the chicken with the leaf/stem border.   I added the yellow batik with red "chicken scratch".    There were a lot of little pieces sewn together for that one!   Then I sent it on to someone for quilting. 
 This is the little quilt I received for finishing.    
I wasn't sure what to do with this one. I finally quilted it by hand with different colors of thread. 
I finally quilted it by hand with different colors of thread.  For the backing and binding I used some orange scraps. 

If you want to see all the participant's starting blocks and ending quilts visit  the Cotton Robin Big Reveal post. 

If you would like to read more about other improv quilting that has gone on recently visit the 
AdHoc Improv Quilting link at Kaja's (Sew Slowly) and  Ann's (Fret Not Yourself) blogs. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Assignment Complete!

Quilts #7 and #8

I didn't make the tops but I finished them up. 

A few weeks ago about 17 ladies of the Sunshine Online Quilt Guild  met for a retreat in Omaha to make quilt tops for the projects we sponsor (Quilts Beyond Borders and Wrap-A-Smile).   The ladies expected to make around 100 quilt tops but exceeded expectations with 184 quilt tops in total.   I was unable to attend the retreat but volunteered to finish 5 quilt tops.   Well, I received 8 quilts to finish but that's okay...I used the opportunity to practice my free motion quilting.   

I used leftover pieces of batting to make what some refer to as Frankenbatts.   I received fabrics for three of the eight backings for a Fabric Fairy and I used thread I found on clearance.  The bindings on most of the 8 quilts were made from scraps. 

With these two finishes my volunteer quilting assignment is compete. 

This top has a cute and colorful lizard print (at least I think they are lizards).  One of the threads I found on clearance was a variegated brown thread. I decided lizards like to play and hide under leaves so I quilted some brown variegated leaves with a few berries thrown in here and there. 

 The leaves show up a little better on the orange dot back. 

On the string quilt I had the intention of quilting snowflakes in the red centers (ala Lori Kennedy at Inbox Jaunt) because I have a quilt that needs some snowflakes quilted on it and so need some practice.  BUT my thread kept breaking after numerous thread changes, bobbin changes, dustings, needle changes, rethreadings and cusswords.   So there's snowflakes around the two diamonds that are in the quilt but the rest of it is quilted with squiggly lines.    And I THINK the breaking thread problem was due to a burr on the face plate caused by a needle break but don't know for certain. I haven't quilted anything since but did file down the rough spot on the face plate. 

For the backing I had a piece of wide red backing leftover from another quilt that was the perfect size.  

More about: Quilts Beyond Borders (quilts are provided to children in need both nationally and internationally.  This link takes you to the latest Giles Early Education Project [GEEP], an Appalachian community, and you will see one of the quilts I donated - a St. Louis 16 patch.  It's always fun to see where the quilts end up.)

Wrap-A-Smile- a partner of Rotaplast. 
Rotaplast provides surgery for children worldwide with cleft lip/palate and burn scarring.

This completes goals 9 & 11 for    Q3 Finish-Along

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Pumpkin Peels

Pumpkin Peels

Quarter section of a quilt I just finished
 by Mary Elizabeth Kinch and Biz Storms

It takes a lot of scraps to make these big arches. I've been slowly going through all my scrap piles and I have been sorting the smaller pieces that remind me of autumn colors into light and dark bags for these arches.  When I think I have enough for four peels I make the blocks. I tape telephone book pages together to make the big arch foundations. 

I try to do a little hand work each night before bed to relax.  Applique isn't my usual type of project but these peels needed to be appliqued to the background fabric so it has been my hand work of choice the past couple of evenings. 

Two down and two to go! 

(And now back to my regularly scheduled hand work projects - embroidery and crochet and quilt bindings until it gets cooler and I go back to hand quilting). 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

I Have the Glitter Blues

I used 3.5 inch scraps for these.
Pattern from Quilt Lovely by Jen Kingwell

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A New Flimsy: Burgoyne Surrounded

 From the depths of the scrap chunks crate arises: 

Burgoyne Surrounded
93 x 93
It's a top! 

Since it's square here it is from another side since the last row dragged on the ground in the last photo.   Since it's square I guess it can be used in any direction. 

And on to the quilting pile it goes. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

A Finish: MoROSE Garden

MoROSE Garden
84 x 96
Four inch hourglass blocks using grays and rose-themed fabrics
Free motion quilted with roses

This has been a UFO since 2012.   When I dug it back out last month to work on I had five rows completed and all the hourglass blocks.   I took the five rows apart and started all over again from scratch as explained in my June blog post. 

I had

I was a little scared to start out free motion quilting this big quilt on my DSM especially since I decided to try to imitate Lori Kennedy's (Inbox Jaunt) Christmas Rose.   

When I first started out I thought I was going to quilt this into a piece of cardboard because there was so much stitching.  I went down each column of blocks quilting the roses. I could have added a few more leaves along the way but I'm happy with it especially since a month ago it was all in bits and pieces and had been that way for years. 

And, surprise, surprise...this quilt with all it's quilting doesn't feel like a piece of cardboard. It's got a nice soft texture. 

You know I started out thinking I would use the light gray quilting thread I had on hand for the bobbin and a nice pink,gray, green variegated thread on top.  Well...I ran out of the top thread.  I was on a roll and hate the 20 minute drive into town just to buy thread (or anything else for that matter) and so I used other colors on top that might be a color of a rose - red, yellow, cream.  

I made do. 

I used a 100% cotton sheet I picked up from the thrift store long ago softened with age. 

You can probably see now why I chose to try to quilt columns of roses - similar to roses on a trellis. 

I'm happy this bed of roses can be put to bed. 
The guest bedroom has a rose theme so guess where it's going. 

I didn't use scraps but it's scrappy so going over to party at ...

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Using Blue 1.5 Inch Scraps

From the blue 1.5 inch scraps I made lots of little 3 inch (finished) rail fence blocks. 

And each month I've been making these little 2x2 units from the 1.5 inch scraps.   I had no idea when I started making them what I would do with them. They are pretty versatile. 

I finally decided I would assemble them into blocks of 3x7 and see how I liked them. 

I liked them so sewed all of the little units in the colors we've used so far in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge into blocks 3x7. 

It will still take a lot of these blocks to make a big quilt especially since I try not to make duplicates of any of the colored fabrics. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Patchwork of Daylilies

Patchwork of Daylilies

I love this time of year when all the daylilies in my flower gardens are in bloom. 
It was finally a little cooler today and not raining so I enjoyed a little time working on the garden patchwork instead of the fabric patchwork. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Two More for the Road

Two more donation quilts finished. 
I didn't make the tops but I finished both of them. 

Carol and Beth of the Sunshine Online Quilt Guild organized a recent retreat in Omaha. I was unable to attend but the ladies were expecting to complete 100 quilt tops at retreat made from blocks made all year long called "Omaha blocks" which are ten inch blocks that consist of a 7.5 inch center bordered on two sides with 3.5 inch strips and 3.5 inch square.  They exceeded expectations and ended up with 184 quilt tops! You can read more about it at Carol's blog, Giraffe Dreams.   Actually a couple of us sewed along at home so there are a few more than 184 quilt tops. 

All of the finished quilts will go to the two groups Sunshine Online Quilt Guild sponsor - Quilts Beyond Borders and Wrap-A-Smile. I volunteered to quilt five of them. That's when the retreat ladies only thought they would hit 100 quilts.   So...surprise...I received 8 quilts to finish. Plus I made an Omaha Block quilt sewing along at home so that makes 9 quilts to finish. Plus I had a donation quilt waiting in the wings that needs quilting.   And that's okay...I need practice free motion quilting on my DSM.  

Sorry for the blurry photos. It was starting to rain and I was in a rush to get a photo finish!

Anyway...this is the orange one. I mentioned I use these to practice FMQ on my DSM (because I'm not very good at it) and have been trying new things on each of these quilts. On this one I did these loopy things going across the rows.  I found I did okay when the block row was all 3 inches...

...but when it came to quilting the 6 inch rows I had a difficult time going across that distance consistently. The harp on my machine is small plus my hands don't seem to flow freely across that distance. So if I use this in the future I will try smaller loop de loops. 

I found a stripe fabric with some orange in it for the backing and added orange binding. 

On the red, black, white one with the elephant I tried quilting some balloon bunches...

...because I used balloon fabric on the back. 

My July OMG (One Monthly Goal)  was to finish at least one more of these Omaha Block quilts so I can mark that goal off the list. ( OMG at Elm Street Quilts)

This also completes goals #7 and #10 on my Third Quarter Finish-A-Long list.