Sunday, August 27, 2017

Checkered Past is Finished!


Checkered Past
72 x 84
Hand quilted

It's finished! 

I was inspired by a vintage quilt I saw on Ebay that was called a Roman Stripe. 

I started this in 2014 as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project. I made the little 5 inch blocks from 1.5 inch squares in the color of the month and 1.5 inch strips of muslin. 

The blocks were then sewn into 10 inch squares and sashed. 

I hand quilted in yellow and black perle #8 going in different directions. The red cornerstones were quilted in red. And looks like I forgot to finish that row of muslin in the bottom right.   Sheesh! 

For the backing I used another checkered print. And as you can see the binding is a solid red.  I thought I put aside a piece of that red with roses cornerstone fabric; however, I can't find it.  I'm sure it will turn up today now that I've finished the quilt. 

(Not sure if the Finish-Along is still active or not but my goals are still goals)

I definitely won't be hand quilting today on this but I do have some other hand work projects  I will be working on.    Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy's Quilts.

Lots of scraps were used in the making of this quilt so also linking up to  

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Selvage Yard is Finished!

Selvage Yard
84 x 84

I used a big bag of selvages in this quilt I've been saving for years but probably have two more quilts like this in the bag.   

I used some 4.5 inch scraps of sewing themed novelties for the centers. 

I made 12 inch wonky log cabin blocks. 

I used an old sheet from the thrift store for the backing and some triangle fabric for the binding. I quilted in spirals  on the diagonal using a white thread in the light areas and a darker thread in the dark areas.   I hand stitched around the center squares and didn't machine quilt in those areas. 
I had to rip out about 1/3 of the machine quilting because of some wrinkles. Then I tried again and had to rip out about a 1/3 of that quilting because of wrinkles again.  Third time is supposed to be the charm but wasn't.   So, I still have wrinkles.

I'm used to living with wrinkles so I guess that's okay.  If you don't see them they don't exist.  Right?

Friday, August 25, 2017


Four six inch blocks of another quilt in the making.  Three are completed. 

It all started with sorting scraps for the neutral "color"  for this month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I ended up with two piles of larger scraps - neutrals and low volumes.  I was pondering what to do with them and a comment from an old friend on my Peacock quilt led me to an email conversation where she mentioned she was working on a new crazy quilt challenge hosted by Sharon Boggon of Pintangle - a 2020 Crazy Quilt (finish by end of 2020 and use 2020 unique items). 

I haven't done any crazy quilting for awhile and my stash of threads, laces, books, trims, etc are in disarray so what better way to get more organized as I go and use some stash.  Plus you know my quilts usually span a few years so I have until 2020 to finish up this challenge which I hope will result in a neutral and very unique large quilt.   I don't make art quilts are for comfort and this will be no exception.  

I am going to make improv circle blocks from neutral scraps and embellish them.  The low volume scraps will get a separate quilt. 

And now for the count of items: 

Block 1 (upper left) -
Fabric: 4
Lace and trims: 1
Threads: Coats and Clarks hand quilting thread 80,10, DMC embroidery 782, DMC perle #8 738, DMC embroidery 451, Sullivans embroidery 45179 (like DMC 738), variegated brown? = 6
Stitches: feather/lazy daisy leaves, herringbone/french knot, straight, french knot =4
Embroidery motifs: 2 (sayings, basket of apples)
Total = 17

Block 2 (lower right)
Fabric: 0
Lace and trims: 1
Threads: gray embroidery 3024, DMC embroidery 400, Sullivan's ??? = 3
Stitches: feather/quarter buttonhole wheels/straight = 1
Embroidery motifs: 1
Total =6
Grand total = 23

Block 3 (lower left)
Fabric: 0
Lace and trims: 1 (butterfly twill tape)
Threads: perle Irish variegated 5063, thread arts ??, perle 5 dk brown, perle #5 951=4
Stitches: buttonhole, chain arches/lazy daisy flowers, stem/lazy daisy leaves, french knot flowers = 3
Embroidery motifs: 0
Total = 8
Grand total = 31

I'm starting off slow with the stitches because I'm a little rusty but I think I'll be doing bullions and cast on stitches and ribbon roses in no time!  I also want to try some different techniques - cut lace embroidery, reverse applique, Irish crochet, beaded crochet trims, etc...

Another challenge that spurred me on to this point was the Ad Hoc Improv Challenge of adding words to quilts.   I have three UFOs that are waiting for me to piece some words (prepping, tea towel challenge, bird brains) but I didn't feel like working on any of those this month.  (I also have a couple of crazy quilt UFOs -crazy farm, valentine bed runner, glow in dark fairy garden- but didn't feel like working on those either). But I will be embroidering lots of words on this quilt starting with an Irish proverb I embroidered on block 1: 
Say but little and say it well. 

Thank you all for the best wishes for a speedy recovery yesterday. This is day 11 of herniated disc/sciatica and I'm feeling better every day..I just can't sit or sleep for very long.  But I'm alive and know there will eventually be an end to the pain and  I've found out there's a lot of things you can do standing! 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

It's a Top! : 42-Cents Forever Stamp

 42-Cents Forever Stamp
74 x 92.5

It's a top!

Instructions for the quilt top can be found in the book Treasury of Quilts by Betsy Chutchian and Carol Staehle.   I usually don't use the same colors as any quilts I make from books but I think it was the double pink background in the photo in the book and on the book cover that attracted me to begin with so stayed with the same color scheme.  The postage stamp pieces also caught my eye.   The instructions in the book have you make strip sets but I sewed together each of these little 1.5 pieces individually. Strip sets aren't usually my style and aren't conducive to using my smallest of small scraps. 

I've had a herniated disk, sciatica, dizziness and nausea (and extreme pain) for the last week and I feel best when standing so have had little time for sewing.  When I did sit down to sew for a few minutes here and there I needed something mindless and easy to work on and this was it (along with several hand projects).  Otherwise I've been walking, trimming scrub trees invading the property and working (standing) in the kitchen to process the garden bounty.  

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Spools and Churns: Calicoes Meet Thirties Reproductions

Churns and Spools
68 x 86

It's a top!!!! 
(And when it is finished I can mark two UFOs off the list). 

I combined two swaps - a really old six inch calico spools/muslin swap from a loooooooong time ago and a 30s repro/solid chunky churn dash swap from 2015.   I only had to make a few more blocks of each in order to have a large twin sized quilt, thank goodness. 

I actually participated in four chunky churn dash swaps of different themes with the intention of challenging myself to set them all differently.   I finished the patriotic themed one (alternate blocks were orphan patriotic themed Snowballs and Twinklers) and sent it as a Quilt of Valor to my brother-in-law, Bert. 

 And, hey!!!!...LOOK...I actually added a border!   In case you don't know...most of my quilts are borderless  because I prefer to make lots of blocks and can never think of what to add as a border anyway.   I like the border but this was a border with lots of little waste triangles left over that I now feel I need to deal with.  (Note to self: if you ever add a "rick rack" border again make sure you have an even number of blocks per side so they meet up properly in all corners.  You don't want to have to deal with figuring out what to do with those two odd corners ever again.)

And now for some reason I feel like I need to make a red and yellow quilt (or make catsup, salsa and/or spaghetti sauce). 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

In The Hoop

The Roman Stripe postage stamp quilt (inspired by a vintage quilt on ebay) is in the hoop now.  

It's one of the hand work projects I took camping with me last week since the camper has a/c and my house doesn't.   Turns out we actually had to turn on the heat in the camper a couple of nights which is unusual for August in Iowa.  Anyway, in between games of UNO, Quiddler, Scrabble, treasure hunts, hikes, water balloon fights, campfires and some jewelry making at the family reunion camp out I managed to get some hand quilting done while just sitting around chatting and a little some nights before bed. 

I'm using yellow and navy perle #8 to do some big stitching - yellow in one direction and navy in the other.  You can hardly see the yellow in the picture but it's there.  I'll do some stitching in red in the sashing cornerstones after I'm finished with all the other hand quilting. 

And today, after I process some of the latest harvest -  tomatoes, green beans and broccoli (and maybe start a batch of sauerkraut fermenting from a bunch of LARGE cabbages) - I'll sit down and start hand quilting again because it's another perfect day in this neighborhood - low humidity and cooler than a normal August day in Iowa.  

Saturday, August 12, 2017

I'll Have Some Cream With My Snowballs

Neutral 3 inch Snowballs

More neutral 3 inch Snowballs. 

Just got back yesterday from a week's vacation ( if you call a family reunion camp out a vacation).   I made these before I left from my neutral scraps because neutral is the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

A Really Old UFO Is Now a Top!

Florabunda (aka Jacob's Ladder in floral fabrics)
Inspired by a vintage quilt.
72 x90

It's a top! 

 I started making blocks around the same time - June 2011.   But I soon ran out of floral fabrics and yellow tone-on-tones.  
I decided to move forward on this old UFO since I've accumulated a few more  (most of these ugly and cheap remnants) floral fabrics over the years. 

I'm out of love with it now but that's no excuse not to finish it.  There's always a need for twin sized quilts and the blocks were not meant to be wasted.  (And I'm tired of all these boxes with unfinished quilts in them that take up space). 

If you look at the vintage version and Bonnie Hunter's version of Jacob's Ladder you will see that they are just a little bit different than mine; however,  both versions are made up of the same pieces - four patches and HSTs.    Orientation matters!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Kaleidoscope of Butterflies

X Stitch Butterflies on X stitch morning glories on stamped embroidery pillowcases. 

(Found long ago w/o embroidery at the thrift store for $2.50 so decided I might as well finish them and either use them, add to the grandkids' hope chests or give as gift). 

I'm pretty sure this is a Comma on that blade of grass. 

(Found on an evening walk through my gardens. )

Tiger Swallowtail on Joe Pye Weed

(Found on an evening walk through my gardens). 

Skipper on Lantana

(Found on my deck - one of many Skippers that were fascinated with the potted Lantana one afternoon while I was sipping on a margarita and munching on mango salsa and chips).