Tuesday, December 11, 2018

It's a Flimsy! String Stars

 String Stars
63 x 81

It's a flimsy! 
 30s reproduction 1.5 inch scraps and Kona Spring. 
For some reason I always think string quilts should be made from scraps and it took awhile to accumulate enough 30s scraps to finish the blocks. 

Goal accomplished so at the end of the month I'll link up to OMG at Elm Street Quilts. 

And now a bag of leftover 30s 1.5 inch scraps has joined with other 1.5 inch scraps in the Spider Web shoe    project box. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Low Volume String Hearts

Low Volume String Hearts

I mentioned yesterday that in 2019 I want to concentrate on using selvages and strings. One of the string projects I'm working on is low volume string hearts - a February 2013 Block Lotto pattern.  Looks like I already hopped out of the low volume box. 

More later...

Sunday, December 9, 2018


 Selvage Star 
34 inches

This year I tried to get my crumb scraps under control and although I still have a ways to go I'm pleased with the progress. Next year I am going to concentrate on reducing selvages and strings.  This week I started on three different quilts that use selvages.  

This Selvage Star...
 ...will be combined with some nine inch black and red and selvage squares. 
 These are two selvage strips 30 x 10. I made the longest pieces first and now have to make some some selvage squares. 
 The selvage strips and squares will be combined with some black and pink fabrics for this quilt. 
The third selvage quilt requires pieces cut from seven different grays which I have done to be sure I had enough gray fabrics. Now I need to make some squares in a couple of different sizes which will later be made into HSTs. 

I probably have enough for a few more quilts after these three. We shall see how it goes. I used to only leave a little bit of fabric with the selvage edge so it takes a lot of sewing to get a good sized square.   For the last year or so I quit saving selvages. I cut as close as I can to the edge and then the selvage piece goes into the "garden path" box of scraps that I spread on the flower garden paths to keep weeds down.  If I cut a long selvage close to the end I now throw that into the "garden tie" bucket.  So after the boxes of saved selvages are gone I don't expect I'll make anymore selvage quilts. 

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Go Figure

 For a couple of years I've been making these blocks from 1.5 inch scraps as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project. The blocks measure 6" x 14".  I have been keeping my 30s reproduction scraps in that size separate from other scraps so I could finish some String Stars.  I finished the 30s String Star blocks so recently made these blocks (and then some)  from those scraps. 

I've been calling these blocks Whatchamacallits for lack of a better name but then I saw Sally at The Objects of Design was calling them Bitcoins and I think I prefer that name so that's what I'll call them moving forward.  
 Speaking of moving forward...I decided I should figure out how many blocks I have and how many blocks I need. So I took count. I have 52 blocks. I want to set them 14 x 6 for an 84 inch square quilt. The colors will all be mixed up so I don't need to worry about how many of each color I need. I'll continue just using whatever shows up in the scrap bin. 

So if I make 32 blocks next year I'll have the makings of a quilt. 
I've also been making these little 3 inch rail blocks from 1.5 inch scraps for a couple of years. 

It's also time for me to figure out how many of these I have an how many I need. 

 I sorted them into piles of 50.  And was surprised I had that many.  Again, these will be all mixed up in the final quilt and not separated by colors into rows or columns so I don't need to worry about how many of each color I have. I can just go where the scraps take me. 
I like big quilts so decided I'd aim for one 90 inches square.  (You know I've never liked square quilts but it seems that's what I've been making lately for some reason).   As of today I have 591 blocks. I need a total of 900. So if I make 309 in 2019 I'll have the makings of a quilt top. 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Wagon Wheels

The latest Wagon Wheels.

Genealogy is another one of my passions. For some reason while I was making these Wagon Wheels  I thought of a maternal great, great grandfather I never met named Jacob Messer. 

Fairfield Ledger
Fairfield, Jefferson, Iowa
February 6, 1878

     This week again the LEDGER chronicles another of those accidents on the road which resulted fatally to one of Jefferson County's good citizens. Thursday last Jacob Messer who lives about eleven miles northeast of the city, started for town with a load of wood in company with his cousin, each having a loaded wagon. When near the Blakely farm, about eight miles from town, Charles, who was ahead on the road, was startled by having the other team come dashing up the road, frightened, and breaking the wagon to pieces. As soon as possible he secured his horses and started back to look for his friend. He found him a short distance back lying in the road bleeding profusely, his head crushed and lacerated and life extinct. The body was carried to a neighboring house and medical aid summoned, but of no avail--the spirit had fled. It is the thought that by breaking some part of the wagon the man was thrown under it, probably dragged some distance, and then, unable to extricate himself, the wheels bearing their heavy load passed over his head, crushing it and causing instant death.
    Mr. Messer was an industrious and thrifty German citizen about 35 years of age living in Walnut Township, where he was much respected. He leaves a wife and two children, we are informed, in comfortable circumstances. His body was interred in the Lutheran Cemetery near Germanville on Saturday.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

You Win Some. You Lose Some.

 Periodically I play the Lotto. There's no money involved - just fabric. 

One of the Lottos I participate in is one at the Sunshine Online Quilt Guild.  Each month there is a theme and if you want to join in you make 12 inch blocks with your interpretation of the theme.  The blocks are made in multiples of two. One block goes into the drawing and the other goes to the lady who runs the Lotto to make quilts for Wrap-A-Smile or Quilts Beyond Borders.   If you are a winner you are free to do as you wish with the blocks. 

The October theme was Sunshine and I won 16 blocks. 
 I made 20 Flying Geese and used 15 of the Sunshine blocks to make this quilt top 42 x 60. 

 The other Lotto is Block Lotto.  There's a block of the month and if you participate you can make as many blocks for the drawing as you wish up to the maximum. 

A Nine Patch Star was the block of the month for November. I wasn't a winner so I now get to send them to the ladies who did win. 

December's Block Lotto block of the month is a scrappy six inch Sawtooth Star in blue or purple.  I made the maximum of nine blocks.  Do you think I'll be a winner or loser in December?  I think I'll be a winner. You know...the power of positive thinking...

Both Lottos give me an opportunity to try new blocks and new color combinations and very often use scraps.  Every once in awhile I win some blocks and have fun figuring out how to set them. I also have fun looking at all the fabrics everyone used in their blocks.  

Monday, December 3, 2018

Can You Tell That Sewing Rows Together Is Not My Favorite Thing To Do?

Looks kind of like a pile of dirty laundry. It's not. But I guess I'm airing some. Can you tell that sewing rows together is not my favorite thing to do? I end up with piles like this from time to time next to my chair at the sewing machine. When it gets pretty high I do something about it - I force myself to start sewing together rows before I can do any other sewing related thing. Depending upon what needs to be done I make little goals about how many rows need to be sewn together each day or how many blocks need to be completed each day. 

So what's in the pile this time?  Are you curious? If so then read on. 

 There's a bunch of nine inch Triangle Tile blocks ( I think that's what they are called) that need rows sewn together. 
After these HSTs are sewn into blocks and the webbed ones are made into blocks I should have 56 blocks that can be sewn together into rows and thrown back into the pile. 

 And then there's my little butterflies. All blocks are sewn together into 20 rows and now I just have to sew those 20 rows togetherr. 
 Also in the pile are rows of Happy Animals. 
 And then there's the String Star blocks for my One Monthly Goal all sewn together into rows now. 
 Then there's a pile of these little Whatchamacallits that need to be sewn together. I made these from some of the 1.5 inch scraps left over from the String Stars. More on those later. 
 And there are some of these little rails in the pile. All they need is ironing. No rows to sew together on these. 
And finally there's an orphan block partially sewn together.  I started sewing it together but noticed I hadn't used the same solid or tot for one of the colors, darn it. So I tossed it aside and made another one the right way. 

And that's the process for some quilts. Not all follow the same process though.  

Sunday, December 2, 2018

It's a Finish!

 Another Nine Patch
No clever name comes to me for this one
78 x 78
Machine quilted on my DSM 
 It's basically a little Nine Patch within another Nine Patch  (or Puss in the Corner) with striped sashing.    I used 2.5 inch scraps to frame the little nine patches. 
 I used to participate in a quarterly 3 inch nine patch swap so had lots of those on hand. I still have a lot of them and am always looking for new ways to use them.  I think I've made five different quilts that used nine patches. 

I quilted it with straight lines on the diagonal. I tried to quilt it so the little nine patches poofed out. 
I used a  100% cotton queen sized sheet from the thrift store for the backing. The tag was still on it - $2.  I was going to make a scrappy binding but couldn't decide on which scraps to use from the 2.5 scrap bin - they are all rather short. And I don't have many bright pieces in the leftover binding bin. So I used plain old red to match the corner stones. 


Saturday, December 1, 2018

A December Goal

My December One Monthly Goal (OMG) is to put all my String Star blocks into a top.  I think there are 63 stars. 

Friday, November 30, 2018

Vintage Thingamajigs Monthly Update

 I've been calling these blocks Vintage Thingamajigs for lack of a better name. They are inspired by blocks in a picture at Flickr.  My version appears like it might be an Ohio Star variation and has 29 pieces in each six inch block. 

I made 15 blocks this month. 

 I've been working on them for 20 minutes each day since July 1. If I miss a day of 20 minute work for some reason like a broken sewing machine then I make sure to make up those days by sewing longer on other days.  I thought it would be fun to see how long it takes to make a quilt by working on these blocks for just 20 minutes each day.  The 20 minutes includes cutting pieces, cutting dog ears, winding bobbins, seam ripping, etc and not just sewing. 
The shoe box now has 103 blocks. I'm trying to decide if I should make it 10 x 12 blocks (60 x 72) or 12 x 14 blocks (72 x 84).  I'm thinking a twin sized quilt is probably the better way to go. Then that means I need 65 more blocks and will be sewing on this for several more months.  And that's okay. It's slowly moving forward and I'm not bored with it and it has become my routine now to work on it first thing each day. 

I sew a few blocks at a time in stages and am in the middle of 10 blocks to start out December so December may see more blocks than usual made. 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Secret Santa Sew Along - It's a Flimsy!

It's a flimsy!
Secret Santa
43 x 56

 Do you recognize the block as Burgoyne Surrounded? 

I really don't like to do sew alongs or mysteries any more but this one struck my fancy -- little pieces and I could use some of my Christmas fabrics and have a little fun. You know I want to empty all those holiday fabric bins! 

I wish I had some smaller print light Christmas fabrics but I didn't so used what I had. Most of my Christmas light prints are used up now. I used a variety of snowflake fabrics when I got to the sashings.  I have a couple of large prints I can piece together for the back. 

It's kind of small but when finished might look nice on the back of a chair, on a table or on my lap. Or I'll give it to my daughter who loves all holidays and holiday decorating. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

It's a Finish! Blind Man's Fancy

 Blind Man's Fancy
90 x 90
Hand quilted

of my Q4 Finish-Along goals. 

Baby, it's cold outside! 

I had my heart set on hand quilting Baptist Fans which was kind of a dumb idea considering all those seams in all those small pieces but I persisted. My first problem was marking. I tried a variety of ways to mark the Baptist Fan. Finally I settled on an Around the Block stencil I used a couple of times to quilt circles. And I have had a pounce pad for a long time but never used it but I tried it after trying a variety of other marking tools and it seemed the perfect solution.  

 At least I could see the marks. But I could only mark one fan at a time because if I tried more the chalk would wear off before I could get to it.  I didn't use a hoop because for some reason it wasn't working for me. It kept popping out of the square PVC hoop and the bigger wooden hoop just was not working for me.  I was totally frustrated between all the seams, marking, hoops but kept going.  And now I love the texture that it added that doesn't show up in the pictures but it kind of matches my vision for this quilt. 
I used muslin on the back. Sometimes I missed going through the backing all together an it appears there are skipped stitches. Sometimes I had to stab stitch through the seams. Sometimes my lines of stitching (or rather curves) are crooked or not evenly spaced. I try for small and consistently spaced stitches but sometimes I fall short of that goal.   But I still enjoy hand quilting (most of the time).