Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Weekly Pickles

Two More Pickles

I've been reading up on making single fold bias tape. That's what gets sewn around the pickles before they are appliqued to the background.  I've never made bias tape but want to give it a try.  Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? 

Speaking of tricks this fine Halloween morn - 
 Happy Birthday to my oldest granddaughter, Isabelle,  who celebrates her 13th birthday today.
  Time flies. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

A Tale of Birds in the Air - Chapter IV - White Birds Must Fly

I've been making weekly goals to move a couple of different UFOs forward. Both of them are Birds in the Air blocks but the quilts will look entirely different. 

This week I got the top of this version assembled. It measures 60 x 60.  But now I need to make some different birds - Flying Geese - for the borders.  They will be white with blue corners. 

Birds in the Air, Flying Geese . Finally I have a name for the quilt. White Bird. Remember the old song White Bird?  It was recorded in 1969 when I was 17 years old by It's a Beautiful Day. 

My goal for next week is to get a few Flying Geese made for the borders. 

I finished all the half Bird in the Air blocks from hand dyed scraps for this other version.  I needed 8 green and...

...3 red/orange.   And now I can finish assembling this top.  Hopefully I'll have that done next week. I have most of the navy blue fabric pieces cut and the center medallion made. 

I'm naming this one Old Birds. It's an old UFO based on an old/vintage quilt made by an old bird. 

And now at this point my reward is that I can now make a few Birds in the Air blocks from my pansy themed fabrics. That's what started all this in case you didn't know. 

The ending hasn't been written yet so not sure how many chapters there will be. 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Pink Fluff

Streak of Lightning 

After I made the Wandering Geese quilt top from bright 4.5 inch scraps in primary and secondary colors I still had scraps left in colors not used in the quilt top.  I dug into the pink and turquoise scraps to see how many Streak of Lightning blocks I could come up with.  So far I have six and I probably have enough scraps for 4 more blocks in pink and turquoise.   Then I'll decide what to do with them - add blocks in different colors?, cut fabrics from chunks of pink and turquoise to make enough blocks for a small quilt?, add borders in different blocks from pink/turquoise scraps in different sizes?  It's not a priority right now so time will tell.  I'm just trying to use up my box of 4.5 inch scraps.  Scraps in blocks are better than scraps in box. 

After I made the Streak of Lightning blocks if there was a 4.5 inch square left of the fabric I cut that and put it into a bag for later use. If there wasn't a square I put it into another bag.  I used to sew like colors together into a strip every once in awhile but I think from now on I'll just put them all together into a bag for later use. If I'm looking for pieces for a 4.5 inch border I'll go to that bag and have my pieces ready cut. 

Last week I made Lady of the Lake blocks and mentioned I didn't think the orange/pink block fit in with the others.  I was thinking it was because I used light pink scraps. 

I don't use the seam ripper very often but I just wanted to see if I liked that pink/orange Lady a little better with bright pink scraps in the HSTs.  I do. 

Those little HSTs weren't wasted, though. I made an 8 inch Depression block (middle) with them.  And then I made a block with bright pink scraps and one with light pink scraps.  I really do need to count how many Depression blocks I have now. I've been making them for years from my 2.5 inch scraps. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Weekly Pickle(s)

This week's Pickle Dish blocks. 

I can read in red,
I can read in blue,
I can read in pickle color too. 
- Dr. Seuss.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Main Reason I Bought The Book

I love Sunflowers. 

I fell in love with a vintage Russian Sunflower quilt I saw a long time ago and I've always wanted to make one. I feared I would never have the skills necessary to do so. Off and on over the years I've looked around on line to see if I could find instructions to make one.  Quilt Index had a newspaper page with the templates. I downloaded it but...Yikes! 

When I saw that a Sunflower quilt was included in Treasury of Quilts I had to have the book. I already had and used the authors' previous book History Repeated.  I bought the book mainly for the Sunflower but  I got sidetracked and made a 42-Cent Forever quilt like you see in the middle front cover. It is awaiting some hand quilting. 

Anyway...a few days ago I figured there was no time like the present to try to make just one Sunflower block just to see if I could.   As you can see...I COULD!!!  I made paper templates and just cut pieces by hand because I'm dangerous with a rotary cutter unless I'm cutting a straight line. (Even then I'm sometimes dangerous). The instructions in the book  for piecing were easy to follow. I machine pieced it all except for the center appliqued circle.

And then I cut more.

I THINK I can. I THINK I can. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Birds and the Bees or Where Do Quilts Come From, Grandma?

Four more 14 inch Blazin' Hot blocks. 

I didn't know the name of this block when I started making them so gave them the name Blazin' Hot since I saw that printed in one of the fabric pieces I used to make the first blocks.  Of course this is just the gestation period so the name is subject to change until the quilt is finished (born). 

I'm not very clever at making quilt patterns but I've had enough quilting experience to figure out how to make a lot of blocks that inspire me.  This was one of them.  

I usually make a few blocks while I am inspired (the twinkle in the eye stage) so I don't forget about making a new quilt.    At that time I was working with men's shirts from the thrift store making my kaleidoscope blocks so grabbed a few shirt parts (pistils) and a few florals (stamens) and made  quilt blocks. Whoopee!!    (Maybe that should be the quilt name). 

Ok...no comments that shirt parts can be stamens and florals pistils. Maybe...but this is my story and it has been written. 

And now there are 10. 

I will add a sashing that's a little wider (maybe 3 inch???)  between blocks like the inspiration quilt.  I think I have the perfect piece for that - leftover quilt backing.   I just need to figure out size of the quilt now. I like to give birth to big babies. 

And to follow up on the block name... Dot (aka abelian who is a no-reply blogger so I couldn't say thanks) left me a comment saying the block name according to Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia #1911 is Buffalo Ridge by Nancy Cabot or Grandmother's Fancy.   #1912 is Buffalo Ridge or Country Roads.   I think the only difference between #1911 and #1912 is the whether or not the block sashing is the same size as the quilt sashing.     Anyway...after I had a name I found the Country Roads pattern at Quilter's Cache if you want to make your own 

Remember...inspiration, love, twinkle in the eye, important parts, whoopee, gestation.  And someday a quilt is born that needs a name and tender loving care. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A Tale of Birds in the Air - Chapter III- I Haven't Flown the Coop

In order to move a couple of old Birds in the Air UFOs forward I was going to try to work on them a little bit each week and post progress on Monday.   (It helps me to have some small goals).   I had to go out of town unexpectedly and just got back so missed my Monday "moving forward" post so today is the day for the next chapter instead. 

In this chapter I made all of the blue/violet hand dyed fabric (half ) blocks I needed for the navy background birds (above) so I could use the rest of those scraps to make more...

...six inch Birds in the Air. 

Then I dug into my 2.5 inch scrap box and the Batik box to find fabrics to make 11 more. 

Now I can start assembling the white background Birds in the Air blocks. 
For the navy background Birds in the Air I need to make more green blocks and a few more red blocks and I'll have all the blocks I need to assemble that one. 

After all my blocks for these two quilts are made I will reward myself with a few Pansy themed Birds in the Air blocks. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Florabunda Finished!!

72 x 90
It's finally finished. 

Inspired by an antique quilt and Bonnie Hunter

These are actually nine inch Jacob's Ladder blocks with yellow backgrounds and florals. 

Bonnie Hunter  (Quiltville) first showed the vintage quilt that inspired her in June 2011 and then shared how she made the nine inch blocks she nicknamed Florabunda.      I started sewing along on a Florabunda quilt that same year - 2011.  By "sewing along" I mean I made about 15 blocks.  The problem was that I had hardly any yellow tone on tone fabrics and even fewer floral fabrics and even less disposable income to purchase any additional fabric to finish the quilt blocks.    That's why this quilt remained a UFO for so long. 

I quilted it on my DSM.  (I could probably win a wrestling tournament now).  I tried a three-petaled flower motif and basically tried for consistency of size and placement since I have problems in those areas when I machine quilt.  I guess I'm getting better. 

I'm not in love with it and could definitely part with it.  From now on I'm going to try to make those quilts I can part with a twin size like this one.  That's the size most often desired if there is a disaster and a call for quilts. That's also the size the local Family Resources and Humility of Mary homeless shelters would like to receive.  It's also the size I like to give if I donate a quilt for a charitable benefit.   I'll keep it around awhile for just the right occasion. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Crazy Ladies Of The Lake Are In The Pink

Ladies of the Lake
10 inch blocks

I use scraps from the 2.5 inch box for the outside HSTs and chunk scraps for the six inch center HST.   I found a bag of some 6.5 HST halves leftover from a basket quilt I made long ago and used some of them for the centers. 

I now have 37 blocks and I like big quilts so have lots more to make. This RSC project will continue into next year. 

That pink/orange block may not make the cut. I'll probably change out the outside HSTs to be red/orange instead of light pink/orange. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Where The Flying Geese Are The Stars

 Wandering Geese

(Goosey Goosey Gander, Whither Shall I Wander? )

It's a flimsy! 

80 x 80

These Sawtooth Stars started out as Flying Geese that I had been making as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project from 4.5 inch scraps. I've been making them since March 2016.  I should also mention that I had a few "rules" for making the Flying Geese from scraps.  If the RSC color of the month was a primary color it got points of a secondary color and vice versa.  

In September I blogged about making some and had no idea what I would do with the growing pile.   Nann (With Strings Attached) and Libby (Life on the Hill) commented that they make nice star points. I hadn't even thought of that. Good idea!!!

Maybe I should call it Wrinkled Geese instead of Wandering Geese.  Even after ironing those old scraps stayed wrinkled.  (Really...I did iron this. I had to clean off the ironing board to do so since I only had enough room to iron a small block before cleaning. )

I spy scraps from a pirate quilt, a Christmas quilt, a Halloween quilt, a Snowball/Nine Patch quilt, Monster High pillowcases, Halloween pillowcases and Trick or Treat bags, Food Jar quilt, Featherbed quilt, Basket quilt, potholders ...

Now on to find a backing...probably a scrappy one. 

And I'm going to figure out what to do with the rest of the 4.5 inch scraps so I can eliminate that tripping hazard   box from the tiny sewing room. 

At the end of the month linking to: 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Tobacco Leaves

Tobacco Leaves
I found them easier to make than yesterday's Pickles but they are not as healthy for you. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

A Tale of Birds in the Air: Chapter II- Flying Forward

Last week our story began with 3 different Birds in the Air quilts - a new start and 2 old UFOs that made me feel guilty for starting the new one. 

I won Block Lotto blocks in 2016 for this version of six inch blocks in blue and purple tone on tones + white tone on tone. I wanted 100 blocks and had 61.   So last Tuesday I made 13 blocks....

...and I made 13 more on Wednesday...

 ...and I made 13 more on Thursday.    Then I was going to start assembling them but figured out with the border of Flying Geese the quilt would end up 76 inches square. I really don't like square quilts all that much and I've come this far so decided two more rows of 10 would be needed.   So guess what I will be doing the next couple of days...making 10 blocks each day. 

The other old Birds in the Air quilt I started in 2014 - inspired by a quilt in a magazine that was inspired by a vintage quilt.   I had a few blocks made and some navy fabric set aside with the hand dyed scraps I won back then.    

To move forward on this version I decided on color layout and how many more blocks of each color I would need.  I had the least amount of yellow to work with so it goes in the center. I made two more blocks and then made the center medallion.   Next round will be red/orange but I'm going to try to make the rest of the blocks for the purple/blue round so I can use the remaining blue/purple scraps to make those extra bird blocks and flying geese border blocks for the other quilt. 

The new Pansy Birds in the Air didn't get worked on since it was the newest and the reward for working on these oldies will be some Pansy Birds in the Air.  (I have to think of a better name). 

Sunday, October 15, 2017


I made another 12 inch Clarissa hourglass block.   With only 3 blocks made so far I'm only 1/14th of the way finished.  I'm making a quilt similar to the one made by Clarissa White Alford c. 1890 .   This block takes 1.5 inch strips to make the hourglass units. When I was finished with the strips I put the scraps into the 1.5 inch scrap bin and then I started hearing VOICES. 

You should try to figure out how to make those OTHER vintage blocks you like. They look like they can be made from 1.5 inch pieces. 

But I was going to use all the 1.5 inch scraps I had at year end to make more spider web blocks. 

You can still do that but make the little hourglass units with wings first. 

Ok, but I should clean off the mountain at the end of that cutting mat.  I can barely cut a 1.5 inch square of fabric. 

That's no fun. 

If you clean off half of it you can reward yourself with a new start. 


Gosh.  These are no fun. It's a pain trying to get that red square in the middle of those units to make an octagon.  Then I'm not sure how to sew them together with connecting red squares. Ok. I think I got that block out of my system. 

Wait a minute...what if...

 ...what if I add some red corners.    Then I will have a square block and connecting them will be so much easier.   Hey, that might just work.    But, you know...now that I look at it I see an Ohio Star variation. 

It would be so much easier to construct them like this instead of trying to make those octagons. 

Oh, yes! 

And guess what...since you cut a 1.5 inch HST piece off the beginning of the 1.5 inch scrap before you started cutting hourglass pieces and after you cut hourglass pieces...

...you can make some little 2 inch Broken Dishes blocks.  

You really need to finish cleaning off the end of that cutting mat now. 

Then may I start something else new? 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Using Pink 3.5 Inch Scraps

This week I dug into my 3.5 inch scraps and made some Pink Glitter blocks.  

I've been making a few of these each month and using the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for the corners and center and other colors in the 3.5 inch scraps for the rest of the nine patch and background.  3.5 inch scrap pickings are now getting thin.  And that's a good thing plus I'm kind of tired of making these.  I chain piece them but they are kind of fiddly to make and take a lot of time to cut. 

I now have a pile of 134 of them and the pattern Glitter in Jen Kingwell's book Quilt Lovely calls for 152 blocks for a 66 x 73 (if I remember right) quilt.    That's a little small for me but I'll go with that since I now only have to make 18 blocks and I think that's doable by the end of the year. 

After I make Glitter blocks I look to see if I have enough 3.5 inch scraps to  make any six inch Bow Tie blocks.

I have over a hundred of them but by my paper I was thinking of making a quilt maybe 14 x 15 blocks which = 210 blocks so I'm probably only half way finished with making these blocks.  This project will continue into next year but instead of using 3.5 inch scraps which are quickly dwindling I'll dig into the scrap "chunks" - odd sized bits and pieces less than a fat quarter. 

And after making the bow ties I check to see if there's enough of any scrap left to make a 3.5 inch Snowball. 

I haven't counted these yet. Right now they are in the Parts Department because I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them.   Right now I'm thinking of combining with some 3 inch 9 patch blocks since I have a box of them. We'll see.  They might also make a nice border or I could see how they look with those little 3.5 inch Rail blocks in the Parts Department. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

All Creatures Great and Small

All Creatures Great and Small hexies. 

And now there are 48. 

I still have quite a few fabrics with critters on them. I guess I should figure out how many hexies it takes to make a lap quilt.