Monday, December 31, 2018

The Last Flimsy Finish of 2018

A Wheelchair Quilt
It's a flimsy!
36 x 45

It consists of 20 nine inch Nine Patches in St. Patrick's Day fabrics. 

I will make getting this finished as my January OMG (One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts).  I will mail it to my Dad after I get it quilted. Earlier this year he was diagnosed with Parkinson's. Around Thanksgiving he was taken by ambulance to the hospital in severe pain. He was later released to an extended care facility and Christmas Eve he went home but is now confined to a wheelchair. We are not sure he will be able to stay at home but he wants to give it a try.   He's 88 and just stopped working last year. A short bio of him appeared in the Naples (FL) Daily News in 2016.  If you care to read it you will know why I chose St. Patrick's Day fabrics for his wheelchair quilt. 

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Vintage Thingamajigs Monthly Update

 Inspired by a picture of some vintage blocks on Flickr  I've been working on my version of these blocks since July 1. It's been a 20 minute project - I work on it 20 minutes each day. That includes cutting, trimming, winding bobbins and not just sewing.  I rarely cut all the pieces for a quilt but instead cut some, sew some, cut some more, sew some more...

These are six inch blocks and when I started out I wasn't sure what size quilt I would make.  

This month I made 25 blocks which brought my total up to 128. Hmmmm...

I grabbed some scraps on the cutting board and made two more blocks. Now I have 130 blocks and think I have enough. I have no more pieces cut. I have a 5 inch piece of red left. My shoe box is overflowing with blocks and no more will fit in.  And a quilt set 10 x 13 will be a nice size at 60 x 78.  So now I will be sewing blocks together one of these days. 

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2019

Chunky Cats
Trial blocks

Next year I'll make a few each month in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) color of the month from some of the small bits and pieces in the chunk scrap crate. I found a free and very easy to make pattern for cats that finish at 5 x 9.   I think forty-eight of them will make a nice sized donation quilt 40 x 54 so I'm thinking I will aim to make four blocks per month. 

I've been assessing all of my scraps so I can make a plan of action for 2019. 

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge is one of those challenges that is fun and helps me keep scraps somewhat under control.  In addition there is a ScrapHappy linky party every Saturday where you can follow other people's progress, see new ideas for scraps and otherwise be inspired.  The last few years there has been a sampler sew along; however, I decided not to sew along. I may this year. I'm still undecided but RSC Sampler 2019 looks interesting. 

Other RSC 2019 projects that are mostly continuing on from this year will be:

1.5 inch scraps

2 inch scraps
Wonky Stars (also uses waste triangles)
Ticky Tacky Houses
Wedding Ring
16 Patch

2.5 inch scraps
Sprouts (might have enough blocks already)
Power of Positive Thinking

3.5 inch scraps
Broken Dishes

4.5 inch scraps
Fractured Rails

I'm also trying to use my selvages and strings but those won't be blocks sewn together by color so won't fall under the RSC Challenge. 

Looking forward to next year! 

Friday, December 28, 2018

The Last Five Sunflowers #15-#18

I've finished the final five Sunflowers.  They will be set on point with Flying Geese sashing.  Now I just need to trim up the blocks to 14 inches, make over 400 Flying Geese and figure out what to use for setting triangles. 

Sunday, December 23, 2018

It's a Finish! Framed Four Patch Summer Quilt

 Framed Four Patch Summer Quilt 
No batting
72 x 88
Hand quilted
 A lot of these blocks are from a long ago swap. These eight inch blocks are 4.5 inch four patches in 30s reproduction fabrics framed with 2.5 inch white tone on tones or solids.  I used some of my 30s scraps from the Ocean Waves flimsy to make enough blocks for a twin sized quilt. 
 It was a pretty plain flimsy with more white than I care to see in a quilt any more so I decided to fancy it up some with some hand quilting in blanc perle #12.   I tied the center of the four patches. 
 Just for fun I also did not bury my beginning or ending knots but instead just left them to form little tufts here and there about the quilt. I couldn't get a really good pic of them. I'm pointing to one. 
 You can kind of see the little tufts in this photo also. 

With all that white I thought it would be a nice summer quilt - a quilt without batting.  I had a thrift store sheet in my stash so decided to use it for the backing. 

On a twin bed the backing can be flipped over at the head of the bed like so. 

Now I need to figure out what to put in the hoop next but in the mean time I've been doing a little applique- Sunflowers and Tulips.  


Saturday, December 22, 2018

It's a Flimsy! Cattywampus II

 Cattywampus II
42 x 56

I'm making an effort to use strings and selvages in 2019 in different quilts. 

I used bright strings sewn wonky log cabin style around 6.5 inch centers of cats on black backgrounds.  I squared the wonky blocks up to 12.5 inches and then added 1.5 inch strips around log cabin style to make blocks 14 inches finished.  Cattywampus I blocks were 15 inches and I seemed to have problems squaring up those wonky blocks so tried this method on Cattywampus II. 

This is the kind of sewing I do when I feel frazzled like that cat lower right. 

Friday, December 21, 2018

Christmas in Ticky Tacky Town

Christmas in Ticky Tacky Town


I don't remember any special Christmas stocking growing up. I think we actually put out one of our old knee high socks. I do remember that we usually got a big apple, orange and candy canes in our stocking and sometimes we also got nut to crack. Fresh fruit was a special treat in winter as was candy.  Mom and Dad separated and later divorced when I was 12 and I think that was the end of stockings. We lived with Dad and I don't think he remembered to fill stockings. 

When my kids became teenagers and we didn't know what to put into the stockings we would spend all year collecting any kind of free stuff to fill the stockings. After a couple of years  it was a tradition and they would look forward to what we found for free to stick in their stockings. I continued the tradition well after the kids left home but haven't collected free stuff for about ten years or so now.  

I made Christmas stockings for my two oldest kids and finally this year made them for the rest of the family - kids, spouses and grandkids. 


We always received pajamas and a new outfit to wear to church on Sunday.  We usually received a book or books.  One of the first and all time favorite books I received when I was younger was The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew.  I usually received a crafty gift because I never really liked playing with dolls.   I remember a potholder loom, small weaving loom I still have, paint by number, yarn dolls.  When I was old enough to sew I received fabric so I could make clothes for myself. Green faux suede that I made into a jacket and skirt and a brown plaid that turned into a drindl skirt come to mind. As a family we received a game from Santa that Santa left unwrapped under the tree. We would play it on Christmas. I remember the game of Life and Mille Bornes  (coup-fourre!) were family favorites. 

We opened our gifts on Christmas morning. I have to admit that a lot of the time I knew what was in the gift. Yes, I was a peeker. 


My favorite Christmas carol is Oh Holy Night. I loved hearing it at midnight mass. My second fav is Little Drummer Boy.  I also like Silver Bells. I remember singing it in choir at a Christmas program in sixth grade. 

My husband's family opened gifts on Christmas eve. After a dinner of Oyster Stew and ham sandwiches all the kids, grandkids, and most adults would gather in a room other than where the Christmas tree was (usually the dining room) to sing Christmas carols. Then suddenly we heard a bell ring.  That was Santa ringing it as he was leaving.  The kids then knew to run into the Christmas tree because there would be lots of presents left there. 

Trees and Ornaments 

We always had a real tree when I was growing up. And we've always had a real tree since. A few times when the kids were younger we went to a tree farm and cut our own. 

Dad liked tinsel on the tree. Mom insisted we put it on one strand at a time. That was not fun. Fun was throwing it on in clumps. Also not fun was finding tinsel here and there about the house all the way into the following Christmas.  One year there was Angel Hair on the tree.  That stuff was dangerous and we got cuts from it. 

Most of the ornaments on our tree are handmade and full of memories. Starting when the oldest son was about four we made ornaments every year of some kind.  When they grew up, got married  and had their own trees I gave them the ornaments they had made throughout the years for their own trees.   I started the same tradition with the grandkids.  They would make ornaments for their parents for Christmas and one for my tree.  They enjoyed that until the oldest girls turned twelve a couple of years ago.  When the grandkids leave home and have their own trees I'll pass on their ornaments that I use on my tree to them.  My youngest son, aged 34,  moves around a lot so I haven't given him the ornaments he has made yet.  I have a macaroni laden cardboard star painted gold he made when he was five and a Christmas tree metal punched with a nail into an orange juice lid and a painted cardboard Christmas tree to give him someday. 

I made a Garden Angel for a tree topper, have cross stitched ornaments and crocheted snowflakes and made yarn doll angels.  Some old ornaments that aren't handmade came from a lady named Lois that worked with my husband and me. After we married we didn't have much money to spend on ornaments and I think Lois knew that so she gave us a bunch of hers. Her husband had died years earlier and she said she just kept them in storage so we might as well have them.  I remember Lois every year when I put them on the tree.  Other ornaments commemorate trips to places like Ireland.  And I collect jingle bells. 
Christmas Baking

When mom still lived with us she made cookies at Christmas. I don't remember her making cookies at any other time of year.  She used Betty Crocker's Cooky Book and I still have that very book with pages stained with flour and butter.  She always made Snickerdoodles and Molasses Cookies we secretly called Mole Asses.  We would have had our mouths literally washed out with soap if she heard us. (I actually had a few mouth washings in my time). 

Our family tradition has been homemade Cinnamon Pecan Rolls fresh from the oven on Christmas morning after we open presents.  I sent away a bunch of Gold Medal flour UPC codes for a free cookbook when the kids were younger and decided to make the rolls one year to use some fresh pecans my aunt in Georgia sent us. The rolls were a hit and I've made them ever since. It's a nice recipe because they raise overnight in the refrigerator so you can just pop them in the oven Christmas morning while everyone opens presents. 
 Every year at Christmas I think I should gather all the old Christmas pictures and make a Christmas Through the Ages scrapbook. Heaven knows I have the scrapbooking supplies! 

This is an old picture of us in our new PJs (except for my brothers) one Christmas. I'm the oldest and on the left with a book on the arm of the couch next to me. It was probably the book I received as a Christmas gift and I probably didn't want to put it down to have a picture taken.  I'm not really smiling. 
I'm thinking this is a year later than the previous picture but it might be the same year. Of course the picture isn't labeled as to year.  Looks like I'm the only one that didn't get dressed for the picture. I have one some horrible looking ruffly robe I probably received for Christmas.  At least I'm smiling in this picture - one of the few pictures that has captured me with a smile. 

Merry Christmas to you and yours! 

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Oh Happy Day - Four Happy Flimsies!

 Three Happy Block Flimsies
Baseball, Butterflies, Sports
40 x 60

There's only a few quilts I make more than once.  
I've made a lot of Happy Block quilts. 

For years when the grandkids were little I swapped novelty centers in different sizes with different groups. I've even swapped Happy Blocks.  Happy Blocks are pretty versatile and can be made with any sized centers and sides. They are great for novelty or big print fabrics and are quick and easy to make. 

This year I've tried very hard to get lots of little bits and pieces, old odds and ends into flimsies. I still have a box of partial sets of Happy Blocks in a variety of themes but I'm slowly emptying that box. 

1. Baseball Happies
I used a variety of baseball themed centers. 

 2. Sports Happies
Different sports for different folks

3. Happy Butterflies

4.  Animal Farm
60 x 72
Six inch Happy Blocks with four inch critter centers. Some of the blocks were swapped and some of the centers were swapped with different groups. 

 My granddaughter Isabelle thinks she wants to be a veterinarian. 
I'll save this one for her when she graduates from high school and goes off to college. 
 Whether or not she becomes a veterinarian she has always loved animals so that's why I made this with her in mind.  She loves spiders and frogs and snakes and beetles and even mice.  She loves birds and rabbits and fish and cats and dogs, raccoons and possums. 
And I love her. 

Monday, December 17, 2018

Continuing On With Selvages

Selvage Star
12 inches finished

Inspired by Sally's String Stars and a String Star tutorial at Coriander Quilts I decided to use small pieces of selvages to try to make one. Since it is easier to make than I thought I will continue on and add this to my list of selvage quilts I'll work on next year.  I think I'll alternate red and yellow backgrounds. 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

String Symphonies

 I sometimes feel like the old lady who lived in a shoe but instead of too many children I have too many scraps and don't know what to do.  Last year I tackled my crumb boxes and now I have several crumb quilt tops in the queue for quilting.  In 2019 I want to tackle the selvages and strings. You've seen a couple of selvage quilt tops I've completed the last couple of days so I have a head start on those.  I've sorted and sorted the string piles and now I think I know what to do. 

Earlier this year I made a wonky quarter log cabin quilt top from the brown, green and a few yellow strings.  And I still had strings in that box.   So now  I have decided I will make wonky log cabin blocks with log cabins in the center -- Cabins in the Woods.  I made these blocks nine inches because that's one of the sizes of square rulers I have which makes them easy to trim. 
 A log of the strings left in the box are trimmings from the sides of quilt backs and some are long and wide. Before I proceed on the Cabins in the Woods I'm going to iron these and trim off 2.5 inch pieces for the binding box.  I may have enough to use as a scrappy binding on both the Cabin in the Woods and Camouflage Quarter Logs. 
 I also have some strings that are ends of fabrics or leftovers from other projects. The ones that are getting too short for use in the Cabins in the Woods will go into a general box of smaller pieces for a Coin or String X  or X  Marks the Block type quilt later on next year. 
 And then there's the low volume/light blues box. I'm making ten inch blocks and using paper foundations. They will have a consistent two inch center like you see here. 
Singing the Blues? 
 I chose that fabric as the center because I have two yards of it and I think it's pretty ugly. My husband loves it. He suggested I buy some a few years ago when we were out and about because it reminded him of his grandmother.  Well, I guess it does remind me of an old lady. 
 Then there's the bright strings. 

I found ten of these ten inch Crossed Quilt blocks buried in a bin with some other old UFOs.  I think I made them a long time ago with the strings I had on hand then.  I see the tutorial still exists  at The Long Thread and her blog post was from 2011 so maybe 2011 is the year I started them.  I'm hoping I will have a quilt top in 2019. 

 Also from the bright strings comes Cattywampus II -- wonky log cabins with 6.5 inch black background cat centers.  Cattwampus I consisted of 15 inch blocks but I'm only making these 12 inches - again because that's the size of a square ruler I have making it easy to trim these wonkies. 
 Here's some other old string blocks I started and never finished.  I have three of them. I'm making these ten inch blocks with a black polka dot stripe strip inserted somewhere in each block.  
 I have two boxes of bright strings so should be able to get more than the three quilts mentioned from the pile. Like the brown and green strings there's some long wide backing trimmings in there and I'm going to iron and trim to 2.5 inch for the binding box. What's left will go back into the bright string box. 
Earlier I showed you the low volume (with volume turned up once in awhile) hearts I started from a low volume and pink box.  Earlier this year I made two different quilt tops using strings from this box-   Rocky Road to Kansas and pink strings with polka dot centers (the Pink Polka?). 

So that's the plan so far for strings in 2019. 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

It's a Flimsy! Text Me

 It's a flimsy!
Text Me aka I 💓 2 TXT
62 x 84
 It's another one where I combined text fabrics and selvages with text.  

I've made pillowcases and tote bags and quilts for the granddaughters using that center fabric. I bought what was on the bolt at Hancock's when they went out of business.  I was going to use the remainder of it as a quilt back but decided to feature it on the front of a quilt instead. 

I modified The 2--Hour Couch Quilt pattern at Country Threads Chicken Scratch so I could use selvages. It takes more than two hours if you use selvages! 

I had pink flower fabric with text...

 ...heart fabrics with text  and butterflies on pink that complimented the center fabric.  I had several different small pieces of fabric with letters on black that I pieced together for a border. 
 And like yesterday's flimsy I tried to tell a little story with the text on the selvages. 
 This one tells the story of my granddaughter , Isabelle,  a bold and beautiful wild thing in a pickle. 
There's probably a couple of different stories in this one. 

I think this would make a nice comfort quilt for a teenager that still likes pink unlike my granddaughters. 

More selvages to go...

Friday, December 14, 2018

What's Black and White and Red All Over?

 What's black and white and red all over ?
Black and White and Read All Over - the flimsy. 

59.5 x 68
Inspired by a free pattern called Star Bright at Swim Bike Quilt. I modified it a bit so I could use selvages.   Also note that I think the finished dimensions she mentions for the throw are incorrect.  

First I sorted out long selvages with text and used them to make the large center star. 
 Then I made 9 inch square selvage blocks. I know it's weird but I kind of told a story with the text in each block.   Happiness is...
 Jumpin' Jungle
Then I had a few black, white and red fabrics with text on them so cut those fabrics into 9 inch squares.  After I counted those up I filled in with a butterfly and floral print in black,white, red as well as a black and white peace sign print. There's a peace sign selvage in the big star and one of the black/white prints also has peace signs so I thought it appropriate. 

More selvage quilts to come...