Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Off the Beaten Path Again

Off the Beaten Path
(Drunkard's Path)
Each block consists of a stripe and a polka dot fabric. 
I have a goal of making 12 of these six inch blocks a week in order to move this UFO forward. Twelve blocks is about my limit before I get bored with them.  
And now I have 144 blocks. I'm thinking I need 224. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Gone Matchstick Quilting or Have I?

This is day 2 of quilting Birthday Wishes (60 x 72).  I was thinking I would try matchstick quilting with some blue variegated thread. I had two different spools so used Gutermann machine quilting thread in the bobbin and Coats and Clarks up top.  I used some low loft batting I had on hand. 

I'm not sure of the definition of matchstick quilting vs straight line stitching vs echo quilting. Basically I decided to quilt some vertical straight lines (or lines as straight as I could get them).  I have to say that this is time and thread consuming.  And I'm having second thoughts as to whether this was the right way to quilt this. But time will tell. 

 Yesterday I first started out using the guide on the walking foot to stitch some vertical straight lines at irregular intervals.   (I guess I had the guide off in this photo).  
 This morning I started stitching in between the lines I made yesterday.  I noticed that when the lines were closer than half an inch the quilt started to feel a little stiffer. Maybe because of the low loft batting.  All I know is is that I don't like stiff quilts.  And maybe that will change when the quilt is washed and dried. 
Now the plan is to have areas where it's close together and then farther apart then close together then farther apart. 

On quilting breaks I've been sorting through boxes and bags of scraps and strings.  I need to make room in my sewing room to start seeds under lights  on some shelves and in the south window.   Going through some of those old scraps is like going through a box of old photos. Oh, the memories of quilts from the past.  And while quilting I've been pondering what I will make with the piles I've sorted.  Oh, and a tip...don't throw string quilt trimmings in with your scraps you want to save. I must have absentmindedly done that a couple of times.  And now I can add rag picker to my resume. 

Monday, January 29, 2018

A New Flimsy! Happy Christmas!

Christmas Happies
Happy Christmas

58.5 x 65

 A few weeks ago I found 56 of them in a Christmas project box and then made 34 more. The 56 blocks were old ones swapped long long ago. 

This year I'm trying to clear out a lot of old holiday fabrics and projects - a self imposed Holiday Cheer Challenge. 

I'm thinking I'll piece a backing for this from all the miscellaneous bits and pieces in that Christmas project box. 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

A Finish!

Sunshine Lotto Quilt
To be donated
40 x 58

This was made from some of the 12 inch blocks I won last March from a Sunshine Online Quilt Guild block lotto when the block theme was green.  I didn't make a single one of these blocks - I just added sashing and just like that I had a quilt top!

I quilted it on my DSM using the serpentine stitch at irregular intervals. 
I pieced the batting for this. I use a wide zigzag stitch to do that. 

I'm getting better at doing the binding by machine as is requested by a lot of the places I donate quilts.  


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Blue Whatchamacallits and Rails

I'm still playing with scraps of light blue; the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month. 

I call these blocks Whatchamacallits. They are a carry over project from last year. 
I first make little units from  1.5 x 2.5 scraps - one light blue and one neutral. I then sew them together into blocks like above that will finish at 6 x 14.   Last year I used only my 1.5 scraps to make these but this year I also used my 2.5 scraps.   

Maybe by year end I'll have enough for a big quilt. 

These little 3 inch rails are also a RSC project carried over from last year.  Last year I only used 1.5 inch scraps to make them but this year I'm using scraps out of the 1.5 and 3.5 scrap bins.  Again I'm aiming for a large quilt. The blocks size is the same as the 3.5 inch spools I made several years ago and I think it took me 3 year's worth of scraps to make enough spools for a big quilt so I expect you may also see these next year too. Time will tell. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

It's a Finish: Bootiful Dreamer !

 Bootiful Dreamer
a Halloween 16 Patch
60 x 72
Machine quilted

 I decided to try to use up all my holiday fabrics in 2018. I declared it my Holiday Cheer Challenge. It will be fun to see how many things will get made that include holiday fabrics. The holidays include Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, Fourth of July (patriotic) and St. Patrick's Day.  Not only will I be making some new things but I hope to also finish up some old things. 

 This Halloween 16 patch used up quite a few bits and pieces of fabric I had left over from making quilts and pillowcases for the grandkids, trick or treat bags and other miscellaneous items.  My oldest granddaughter was born on Halloween. She's a real treat! 
I quilted it on the machine with alternating up and down loops in each square.  I meant for them to be oriented up and down like you see here but I evidently put the quilt in the wrong way when I started to quilt so they loop sideways but it's the same effect.  I need to work on making my loops the same size but sometimes it's rather difficult to push a large quilt through a small harp. 

I used up some Halloween fabric on the back too.  It's actually a quilt of it's own - a giant four patch. 
It's a little blurry but you can see the four patch consists of monsters and creepy things in jars. 

And that's my first Holiday Cheer Challenge completion!  I think I'll make a tab to keep track of all the holiday cheer. 


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Final Seven Boho Roosters

I had enough fabric to fussy cut roosters for all 16 twenty inch Boho Rooster (Sunburst) blocks. It was down to the wire and I thought I might have to piece a rooster from parts but I had a rooster to spare. 

Next step is to piece the backgrounds. These circles are not appliqued to the background but instead the four corners are pieced.   I just took a photo of all these blocks against the same background fabric but they will all get different fabrics. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Down The Beaten Path

I've been trying to make 12  six inch Drunkard's Path (Down the Beaten Path)  blocks each week to move this UFO forward.  So far so good. Here's last week's dozen and this week's.  And now there are 132 blocks. I forget the target count. I'm thinking 225. 

I cut these by hand and twelve of them is about all I can piece before I get bored with them and have to move on to something else. 

One step at a time...

Sunday, January 21, 2018

You Don't Have to Jump Through These Hoops

 I wasn't going to make a Slow Sunday Stitching post but Kathy challenged us to take a photo of our hoop(s) and I couldn't resist. 

This is the quilt I'm working on stitching with perle #8.  It's in a big hoop that sits on my lap while stitching.  It's big and not my favorite for hand quilting but I use it when I want to do a lot of rows at a time that are in close proximity so I don't have to constantly move the hoop. 
 I use small round hoops for most embroidery like this stamped card table sized table cloth I found at the thrift store.   This is a smaller project I work on in the summer when it's too hot to have a quilt on my lap. 
 Then there's this oval hoop. I picked it up with a bunch of hoops at the thrift store and never found a use for it until I started stitching chicken scratch sashing strips for a quilt I'm working on.  I like that it's long enough for me to get the entire length of the sashing in the hoop and it's narrow enough for me to easily stitch the rows. This is another summer project or something I pick up when my wrist hurts from too much hand quilting.  This is a different arm motion. 

This is another summer project or when I have the time to dig through trims and threads and feel like thinking about what to do on each six inch block.   Since these are six inch blocks and I like to use a  small hoop for stitching  but one big enough to stitch the entire seam without moving the hoop, I baste some scrap muslin around the block before putting it in the hoop.  The block with the cats is one I finished before Christmas but haven't posted about. I usually don't post about them until the set of four improv circle blocks is finished. 

This poor wrinkly thing resides in my Bug Out Bag (or To Go Bag) along with some yarns and crochet hooks for crocheting dish cloths.  It's a quick easy project to pick up and put down at a moment's notice. I found a bunch of these stamped embroidery projects complete with single color thread on clearance for about 1/6th the regular cost so snatched them up.  They are supposed to be pillows.    I like a small hoop for embroidery like this.  I haven't gone anywhere in awhile so wrinkly bird will go back into the bag and stay ready.  I probably shouldn't leave it in the hoop though. But...

And finally this PVC hoop is my fav for hand quilting. It's a lot smaller than the wooden hoop but it's perfect for quilting areas like I did on my Glitter quilt.   I'm still need to leave this hermitage and get to the store to buy a long needle so I can tie in the middle of the nine patches using blind tie or international stitch.  I was also thinking of tying in the center of the oval - ish area where I already stitched but I may just stitch  another row inside that one.  I love how the stitching there makes the nine patches pop out. 

where everyone is showing off their hoops today. 

A Finish: Homespun Fun!

 Homespun Fun
54 x 78
Machine quilted and tied

 Most of the Friendship Stars made of homespun fabrics and muslin were swapped long ago.  When Bonnie Hunter was running her mystery this year I decided to make the units she gave in the clues to advance some of my UFOs forward and skip the mystery.    Around the same time the Stashbuster Yahoo group was talking about an Irish Chain Challenge to bust stash.   And so that's how I decided to make the nine patch units and add them to the Friendship Stars in an Irish Chain layout. 

I quilted it on the diagonal in the muslin areas which left the star and nine patch homespuns  without quilting. That was okay for the nine patch blocks but left a little less quilting in the star blocks so I tied them in the center with perle #8. 

This will be a donation quilt for a guy when the time is right. Seems like a lot of male family and friends were hit by prostate cancers and such last year so I'll be glad to have one handy for giving although I hope I don't have a need to give it away under such circumstances. 

And now that I see this picture up close it looks like I might wash it again. The Color Catcher came out just a little gray and dingy looking with no color. I thought the muslin looked a little dingy but I chalked that up to using a gray backing and it possibly showing through to the front.  But now that I see the photo it looks like there might be a little bit of bleeding like around the green/blue star.  I hope it's just an optical illusion. It's difficult to wash quilts by hand around here now that I have the wringer washer.  (Actually, if you asked any of the men in my life if they saw anything wrong with the quilt they wouldn't even notice a little bleeding or dingy muslin. They would think something was wrong if it wasn't long enough to cover them properly while in a reclining position.) 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Feeling Blue and Crumby And That's a Good Thing!

I haven't actively worked on my crumbs since the first year I joined in with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge which was 2013.   I made several crumb quilts that year. 

This is another year for crumb quilts since I have several boxes of crumbs. Let's see how many quilts I end up with at year end.   I'm thinking of quilts in the size of about 40 x 60. You know...crumbs cost the same per yard as my other pieces of fabric so it's a shame to waste them. 

I started by sorting all the blue crumbs - light, dark, aqua.  Even though we are to use light blue scraps this month I wasn't going to go that far with sorting my crumbs so I'll be set for three different months. 

After I sorted out all the blues I then sorted them into larger pieces with straight sides for slab blocks.  I thought a four inch heart would be a nice thing to add to each 12 inch block.  This quilt (or quilts) will be called Heart of the Matter. 

And then I sewed together most of the irregular shaped pieces - a lot of them with angles - and ended up with a big piece of fabric. 

 And from Cathy's Crumby Confectionery Company - Blueberry Crumby Yummies - Sweet 8 inch candy blocks. 
 And from a galaxy far, far away    black hole in my sewing room...8 inch crumb stars. 
And some blue fish to rival Dr. Seuss's - these are Itty Bitty Nitty Gritty Fish.    In 2013 I made a larger version of the fish and ended up with a whole quilt of the little known Blue Sapphire Fish.  These Itty Bitty Nitty Gritties are their cousins but they come in all colors of the rainbow and not just blue.  

Above are examples of some of the 2013 crumb quilts - Crumb Stars and Blue Sapphire Crumb Fish.  I donated most of the quilts to Quilts Beyond Borders that year. 

Here's a pic of a little boy in Uganda (second from left)  who ended up with one of my quilts.

And a little girl in an Ethiopian orphanage received another.  She's the little one in front wrapped in the green crumb Bear Paw.

Got scraps or crumbs?
Rainbow Scrap Challenge ScrapHappy Saturday

Friday, January 19, 2018

A Tale of Birds in the Air - Chapter VII - Another Flimsy

The temperature was above 20 degrees this a.m. so I ventured out to take some photos.  Brrrr....
I've finished the third flimsy  in a series of Birds in the Air  block quilts. 

A Pansy For Your Thoughts
87 x 87

 Getting this to flimsy stage was my January OMG (One Monthly Goal). I can check that one off as completed now! 
I haven't pieced it together yet but I have several pieces large enough for a back I think.  The blue bigger print is wide fabric leftover from making curtains long long ago. 

 Here it is with the other two Birds in the Air quilts which were both very old UFOs until I started down this Tale of Birds in the Air.   Gosh, it would have been a nicer picture if my husband hadn't decided to park the camper in front of the barn after he winterized it but so it goes. 

I still haven't found any backings yet  in my stash for the one with the navy background (Old Birds) and the one with the white background (White Bird) and I'm on "no buy" for awhile trying to make do with what I have this year so it may be awhile before they get quilted. Time will tell. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

One Thing Leads to Another

Just for something different I like to try to make a few Block Lotto blocks every month.  

This month's Block Lotto block, Put a Frame Around It,  calls for some bright solids.  

While I was looking for some bright solid scraps I came across a lot of various sized pieces of pink solid scraps in a box of "girl scraps" - most left over from making clothes, quilts and pillowcases for the granddaughters when they were younger.  Rather than just use a piece of pink in a Block Lotto block I decided to use the pink scraps to make an entire quilt using the Block Lotto block because also in the girl scrap box were some bits and pieces of princess/castle scraps.  I had a bit of purple solid left over from making my pansy quilt top that was sitting out and so a little donation quilt top was born. 

It's been too cold to go out to the clothesline to take pics so I hung it over the quilt rack in the guest bedroom.  I should have closed the curtain...I didn't need a ray of sunshine in the picture.

It will probably be quite awhile before I get this quilted and before then I may add a pink/purple frame type border to the entire quilt similar to the frame in  each block to make the quilt a little bigger. Right now it measures 36 x 54 and I usually like to make the donation quilts for kids about 40 x 60.  I'm about out of pink solids so time will tell whether or not it gets a border.