Friday, August 31, 2018

Vintage Thingamajigs Block Tally

I call these blocks Vintage Thingamajigs. 

 After two months of working on these blocks with 29 pieces for only 20 minutes each day I now have 46 blocks.    They are my version of vintage blocks I saw on Flickr.  There are two versions there and my blocks are more like the ones in the back.   I am aiming for 140-154 blocks for a twin bed sized quilt. 

I was called away from home unexpectedly for a few days so I did make up those 20 minute daily time slots when I came back home. Those 20 minute sessions also include cutting pieces, trimming dog ears and winding bobbins and not just sewing time.  

Of course this isn't the only thing I work on for 20 minutes each day. 

How many will I have finished next month? Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

And Then There Were Sixty-Four

And then there were sixty-four little log cabin blocks. 
There's a few crowning glories and a couple of scary blocks. 
But that's not the end of the story or the scraps. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

What's in the Book?

 I recently found these four patch blocks stored inside this book when I was looking through my books for something else.   Surprise! Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.  And, no, I don't normally store quilt blocks in books. 
I see according to my blog I started this quilt in September 2014 and then I evidently stashed it in a safe place - the pattern book.   I was going to make it to use some fall fabrics and thought it would remind me of  a nice hike on a trail through autumn woods. 
 With step 1 done I moved on to step 2 which was to make 38 double four patches.   So I made those a couple of days ago and am ready for step 3 now. 
This time I left the blocks laying out where I could see them. 

Moving another UFO forward...
More later!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Coffee Shops, Snow Forts and a Nut House

Coffee Shops and Nut House

Snow forts. 

Make some!

(Note: I don't follow the instructions at the link but use the Easy Angle and EA Companion to cut the flying geese roofs). 

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching Sunflowers

 I have six out of eighteen Sunflowers made and have been at a standstill for awhile on this quilt. I have been embroidering a little each evening on my chicken scratch sashings but ran out of white embroidery thread.  I haven't been in the mood to pin baste anything for hand quilting so decided to applique my Sunflowers to some backgrounds.  I don't really pull fabrics at the start of a project and I don't buy a lot of large pieces of fabrics (usually a yard or less) so first had to hunt around for pieces I could use for backgrounds in my reproduction stash.  I found enough so far for 10 backgrounds so have those ready.  I still have to hunt for 8 more backgrounds and decide what to do for side background pieces since this will be set on point.  That's a task for another time. 

So the last couple of evenings I've been appliqueing Sunflowers to backgrounds.  I know there are lots of magic and other ways to add circles to a background but for this one I decided with all those points I would applique by hand because that seams to leave my circles a little less wonky than doing it by machine.

So far I have three down and three more to go. That's what I'll work on the next couple of evenings. 

Sunflowers #7 and #8 are in the works. I cut the pieces out by hand since I'm not good at cutting odd shaped pieces with a rotary cutter. Then I machine piece them. 

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Orange Crumbs and Other Tidbits

 Crumb Stars from a galaxy far far away.
 Orange Crumby Yummies from Cathy's Confectionery Company
 Itty Bitty Nitty Gritty Fish from the deepest dark regions of the sea. 

I ❤ Slabs

 Crumb Mendota (off center square) blocks. 
 Scrappy and flowery Mendota blocks
 From the box of  wonky and waste and orange...
 ...white and orange...
...four inch (or close to it) blocks. 

All bits and pieces to be assembled into donation quilts at year end. 
It should be fun.
It's also fun to see what everyone else does from week to week with orange scraps. 

Friday, August 24, 2018

Stirring the Pot

 A couple of days ago I made another batch of spaghetti sauce and canned it. It takes a long time to cook it down and I usually stir it every 15 minutes.    In between stirring the pot I made a Happy Block flimsy which will be donated when finished.   It was something easy and mindless to work on - easy to pick up and put down between stirs. 
 I had a small stack of "old lady florals" to use for the centers that has been sitting around here far too long.  My daughter sometimes brings me miscellaneous stuff she picks up at church rummage sales and garage sales and at various times she had brought me some precut centers I just stuck in a small box.  I found enough in a red/white/blue color scheme and cut some block borders from red/white/blue "old lady florals" I have on hand (even though I'm not really an old lady). I had measured the precut on top of the stack and it was 6.5 inches so I cut the sides at 2.5 x 6.5 and 2.5 x 10.5 thinking I would have a 10 inch (finished) block. Well, I should have measured more than the top couple precuts in the stack because when I went to sew borders on the block I found that most of the centers were only 6 inches.  Darn! So I had to lop .5 inch off the border pieces as well as .5 off the few centers that were 6.5.   I hate wasting even .5 of fabric but...I do have a nice flimsy now and have emptied a little box of (s)crap. 
Some  of the centers look like those calicos from the 70s? with little hearts..
 ...and some of the centers are those "old lady florals" probably also from the 70s but I'm not a fabric dater expert so who knows.   
 The rest of the centers that weren't red/whit/blue I'm going to cut up and use in those little log cabin blocks I've been making.   
I also now have 11 more quarts and 3 pints of spaghetti sauce as a result of pot stirring.  The tomatoes, peppers, herbs and onions were all from the garden. And they are not "old lady veggies". 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Cabin Fever

This week's log cabin lunacy. 
I now have 43 little 4.5 inch  (unfinished) log cabin blocks. 
Not sure how many I'm aiming for.  I just like making them. 

They are little scrapbooks full of fabric memories. 
More later! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Patriotic Ticky-Tackies

Little ticky tackies (houses) all decked out for the Fourth of July. 

They are 3 inch (finished) and made of 2 inch scraps. 
There's a free pattern if you want to make some. I make Flying Geese for the roofs instead of following the directions with "flippy corners". 

They are a lot of fun and very addictive. 
More later. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

It's a Finish!

It's a Finish!
36 x 48
Machine quilted in variegated blue thread on top and natural in the bobbin. 

If the very middle looks a tiny tiny bit wider than the rest...well, it is. You may or may not know that I have a wringer washer.  It is difficult to squeeze out enough water to put a quilt in the dryer without a spin cycle.  I normally drape the smaller quilts on an old wooden drying rack.  I have no place to dry them flat. (The larger quilts are taken to the laundromat). Well...a couple of wooden dowels came out of the drying rack and I haven't had a chance to glue them back in. One dowel is warped and I'm not sure I'll even be able to get it glued back in. I guess it's time to buy a new drying rack.  I found the one I've been using many many years ago at a thrift store so it really has seen better days.   So, I know I should not hang quilts on the clothesline to dry when they are really wet but I thought if I just folded it it in half and draped it over the line this small quilt would not stretch out of shape. Well...I was wrong.  Somehow where it was folded over the clothesline the quilt grew a tiny bit wider. Darn!  When I took it off the line when it was almost dry to put it in the dryer to finish up I never noticed it but I sure do now.   In order to fix the problem I might wet the quilt and clear off the dining room table (full of tomatoes and peppers right now) and dry it flat there on beach towels. 

 Twelve ships with different colors of sails.  This was a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project a few years ago. I found one ship at a time was not efficient so quit making them.  I dug out the UFO to finish for some soon-to-be grandparents and found I needed five more blocks.  No problem. 
I quilted "clouds" and "waves"...

 ...but left the ship and sails unquilted so they would stand out a bit. 
I had almost enough blue solid for the binding.  I grabbed a snowflake scrap from the 2.5 inch scrap box to finish out the binding.    Which came first? - the quilt or the backing? The backing fabric inspired the quilt!  


And another UFO gets checked off the list! 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

It's no secret that I like to make small blocks and big quilts. 

How about some 4 inch (finished) log cabin blocks for a 60 x 80 quilt. 

Julie made a call for all Log Cabin Loonies to join with her to make some of these cuties. So I have. 
You can see from her instructions that it takes 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5 inch pieces x 1 inch.  Well, I just happen to have all those different scrap sizes sorted into bins EXCEPT for the 3 and 4 inch.  So, for all the scrap sizes I do have I just picked some and cut an inch off the end of each. I cut enough pieces for 20 blocks.  Then for the 1 x 3 and 1 x 4 inch pieces I cut a 1 inch piece off of something(s) from the scrap chunk bin and further cut those 3 and 4 inch pieces.   Clear as mud?  It works for me.  And now I have 20 blocks and am ready for Julie's link up for Log Cabin Loonies

And speaking of four inch (finished) blocks...I've made a few more for Gallimaufry which is inspired by a vintage (c. 1890) quilt.   Can you tell I was working with orange scraps? 

Now I have to leave unexpectedly for a few days. See you when I get back!  

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

I've Got Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

 Two Donation Quilt Tops

The first was inspired by Star Bright at Swim, Bike, Quilt.   but I changed it up a bit and used 6.5 squares so I could use what I have on hand and end up with a quilt 42 x 60. I also wanted to see how I liked a purple, gray, yellow color scheme. (I like it). 

 The second quilt came about because I was making blocks for Sunshine Online Quilt Guild's October Block Lotto. The theme is normally "Bright" in October; however, this year we are celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Tammy's reign as Block Lotto organizer so the theme is Sunshine. Many, many, many Block Lotto quilts have been donated to either of two projects Sunshine sponsors - Wrap-A-Smile  who partners with Rotaplast or Quilts Beyond Borders

Anyway,  I made some Sunshine themed blocks for the October Sunshine Block Lotto  plus I made some for myself to put into a quilt.  This one measures 40 x 60. 

And these are the blocks I'll be sending to Tammy for the October drawing. 

If you would like to join us at Sunshine (a MeWe group)  we would love to have you.  I don't really "talk" much but some ladies are pretty chatty. It's a fun group with some teasing whether you are chatty or shy like me.  We all have a common cause. 

We make quilts for Quilts Beyond Borders, a charity providing quilts to children (sometimes adults too) in under served areas of the world. I've seen quilts I've made and sent to Quilts Beyond Borders with children in orphanages in Ethiopia and Uganda and they have been sent to be distributed to Syrian refugees. 

We also make quilts for Wrap-a-Smile, a partner of Rotaplast .  They are "committed to helping children and families worldwide by eliminating the burden of cleft lip and/or palate, burn scarring, and other deformities. "  

Here's an excerpt from a letter about our quilts from a nurse who worked on several Rotaplast missions: 

"These hospitals we work in have NO linens at all, let alone on the OR tables or recovery rooms or wards. We use these quilts first to wrap each child in as they wait for surgery. It truly comforts them, no matter what age. Then, as they are moved to the OR, we use the quilt to cover them and keep them warm in surgery. This is actually critical to anesthesia and post-op healing. Warmth is critical!

At home we use electric warmers called Bear Huggers. On missions we use your quilts. But – we are very careful to protect the quilts from blood splashes during the IV start and surgery.
Then, as the patients are moved to recovery room, the quilts are a crucial part of the caring, medical equipment, and patient comfort. Again, if patients are not warmed, they do NOT do as well post-op. We cover them in PACU (recovery) again, being careful not to let blood or body fluids touch the beautiful quilts..."

So...I probably won't get these finished up until next year. I'm asking Santa for a roll of batting.  Meanwhile I'll keep on making tops from scraps as they happen.  I have about 8  donation quilt tops in the pile now. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

It's a Finish! All Tied Up

It's a Finish!
All Tied Up
(Bow Ties)
84 x 96
Tied and hand quilted

It's not really a quilt because there is no batting. This is what grandma called a "summer quilt". 

 I spent a couple of years making a few six inch bow tie blocks each month in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month. It took a couple of years to get enough 3.5 inch scraps to make enough for a large quilt. 
 I don't think there are any fabric repeats except for the neutrals.  I just randomly sewed blocks together trying to remember to keep a few blocks lighter in value toward the outside edges. 

 When I started out I was just going to tie the quilt with #10 crochet cotton.  I tied one row across at the corners of each square and decided I didn't like it, took out all the ties and started over after a good think. 

 So then I did some tying where bow ties intersect and where the blocks intersect. I used the same crochet cotton and stitched around the bow ties in the neutral areas. 

I used a flannel sheet from the thrift store on back and a variety of light to pastel floral fabrics for the binding. 
 The flannel was nice and soft and the perfect width. I hardly had any width to spare -- just the side seams had to be cut off. 
 It sure reminds me of grandma's summer quilts.  I think I'll put it on my bed now since it's summer and like grandma I'm without air conditioning but sometimes this time of year the nights start getting a little cooler.   I'm also going to use the vintage rose pillowcases I made years ago.