Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Year End Miscellanea

 The last flimsy of 2019. 
St. Louis 16 Patch
40 x 60

This is the Fat Quarter that I was challenged to use. 

 One FQ didn't go very far in this quilt but it did determine the color scheme. 

 I combined the FQ with several other fabric scraps and chunks and made ten inch St. Louis Sixteen Patches. 

And that makes 56 flimsies ready for quilting in the New Year according to my new 2020 UFOs page. 

56 must be a magic number.  That is the number of UFOs I finished last year according to my 2019 Finishes page.  Those UFOs amounted to 328.2 yards of stash busted. I actually finished 60 quilts (and one set of placemats and napkins) this year - four of them were not UFOs and were started and actually finished all in 2019. I didn't keep track of the amount of fabric used in those. The long term goal is to actually finish everything I start all in the same year. 

45 of those 60 finishes were gifted or donated (or will be soon. I have a couple of boxes I need to mail). 
9 of the 60 were hand quilted and 1 of those 9 is now on my bed. 
1 is in my grandson's hope chest along with the game that inspired it.

The last quilty purchase for 2019 - backings and thread. 
I didn't buy much fabric in 2019 and most everything came from stash or stash enhanced by gifts from quilty friends. Mostly I buy backings, neutrals and solids or TOTs because those seem to always run low.  I had to go in town to the dentist yesterday so decided to stop by Hobby Lobby on my way home to pick up some thread and check the clearance bin. I bought four yards of each of these that were marked down to $2 or $3 per yard to use for backings. With 56 or more quilts I hope to finish in 2020 these will surely come in handy. 
 What's in the bin?

Today I was taking a final count of UFOs that will roll into 2020 and then decided to assess a bin of scraps.  This Parts Department bin was supposed to be full of 4.5 inch parts. I sorted through it to see what was actually in there and to try and decide what to do with what is actually in there. (Goal for 2020 is to empty it completely). 
 First of all there was a small grocery sack of things that did not really belong in there like a little lunch baggie of 3.5 inch bow tie blocks, a lunch baggie of 2.5 inch squares and some 2.5 x 5 lozenges. There were also some 4.5 inch scraps and a small pile of 4.25 inch (unfinished) hourglass blocks leftover from a July 2017 finish called MoROSE Garden.  

I took all those bits and pieces out of there and moved them to different bins. 

 I sorted out a gallon bag full of these little Happy Blocks that finish at 4 inches (2.5 inch centers and 1.5 inch sides). I've made them off and on for several years when I had some cute little novelty print scraps for the centers.  I haven't counted them but I think there's definitely enough for a kid's quilt in there so this will be one of the last new starts of 2019. 
I also kept these blocks separate from the rest because I think I can use them in a Fractured Quilt UFO that needs to have the center ripped out and replaced because I don't think the center blocks go with the rest of the quilt. More on that some other day. 
 So now the rest of the 4.5 inch blocks in the bin are now kind of sorted - one pile of warm colored blocks, two piles of cool color blocks, one pile of brown blocks, one pile of mixed cool and warm colored blocks and one pile of blocks with black in them.  Not sure how I will actually use them yet and they may end up combined with orphans. 

 I actually have a bin  and a bag of 4.5 inch scraps (stacked on top of the 4.5 inch Parts bin). The bag is full of light blue and white 4.5 inch scraps I had pulled to use with orphans in the two orphan block tops I recently completed. I'm thinking I will cut 4.5 inch squares from the cool color scraps and combine them with 4.5 inch cool color parts to make a twin sized quilt. 

The last new start for 2019. 

After lunch I was reading some blogs and saw the new Ad Hoc Improv Quilting prompt is Hourglass. Talk about timely...remember I said I had found leftover Hourglasses in the 4.5 inch parts bin? Well, after I saw the prompt I went and sewed those Hourglasses (or QSTs) together for a medallion center that I hope to move forward with borders the first quarter of 2020. 

 Ok...so maybe this and not the Hourglass Medallion was the last new start of 2019. I received these squares from a quilty friend a few months ago. I've wanted to sash four squares with a 1.5 inch solid strip but didn't have any solids to use so picked up some at Hobby Lobby yesterday when  I picked up those backings. I have some shirt scraps I will mix with these and hope to make a twin sized quilt. 
Or maybe this is the last new start of 2020? 
I also received a pile of 6 inch red floral squares from a quilty friend. That is a weird size so I have had them sitting at the end of my ironing board trying to decide what to do with them. Finally I've decided to cut them in half so they will measure 3x6 and become the starter for a lozenge quilt. I don't have a 3 inch width scrap bin because if I end up with scraps of that width I usually cut the strip in half and throw the pieces in the 1.5 inch scrap bin but I do have some scrap chunks I will cut for lozenges.  I'm aiming for a small donation quilt approximately 40 x 60. 

Sunday, December 29, 2019

'30s Reproductions Miscellanea

 The last couple of days I've been working with some '30s reproduction fabrics. I've added more Wagon Wheel blocks to my collection and now have 39 blocks out of the 63 I need for this quilt. I see that I started making these blocks way back in 2013 so this is a very old UFO. My OMG (One Monthly Goal) for January is to complete 24 more blocks to really move this UFO forward. 

I wanted to make a Hummingbird quilt but found I didn't have enough of the fabric I want to use for the background. I have a lot of different pieces of yellow so thought I would make a test block to see what I think of piecing the block. I think I'm not so sure I now really want to make a Hummingbird quilt. I'm going to put this aside for now and complete all the blocks for the Wagon Wheel with all those curves and then decide if I really want to proceed with the Hummingbird quilt.  If I do proceed I guess I'll use a variety of different solid yellows and '30s reproduction fabrics. 
 These large 13 inch Churn Dash blocks are a new start using '30s reproduction fabrics. They work up fast so I'll have a large quilt in no time. I'm using blues, reds, yellows and browns.  
 I just finished this 36 inch square baby quilt top made of orphans I received from a quilty friend and my '30s scraps. 
 Two sets of four blocks were already set like you see here.  Yes, one block is not oriented the same way as the others but so be it. I was not going to rip. 
 I also received eight single blocks that were a little different from the other sets in that two corners were not white but matched the center fabric. I set those four blocks the same as the others  - sashed with yellow 1.5 inch strips. 
Then I joined all four blocks of four with some 2.5 inch sashing cut from scraps.  And then I added a 1.5 inch green polka dot border and then added a 3 inch border of ducklings. I was just going to add a white outer border but thought that would be too much white for a baby quilt and besides...the baby ducks made it seem more baby quilt-ish. 

Thursday, December 26, 2019

It's a Flimsy! Rose Garden Promises

 It's a flimsy!
I'm calling it Rose Garden Promises.
It measures about 76  x 93

I kind of worked backwards on this quilt. I have several yards of a large print rose fabric that I thought I could use for a quilt back. (After I finished the flimsy I found I will be about four inches short of that backing fabric so will have to  figure out which fabric to add to the backing now. ) What to make for the front of the quilt? Hmmmm... I browsed through pics I have saved of vintage quilts I like and settled on the Nine Patch Variation (aka Puss in the Corner or Uneven Nine Patch). 

  I decided to use rose themed fabrics from my stash and make six inch (finished) blocks.  I first had to decide what to use for the background blocks. 

 I had an orange rose fabric I could use but there was not enough of it. In my floral fabrics I had an orange fabric with pink and white flowers so decided that would also do. I figured I would use the floral fabric in the center columns. 

Then I had to decide the colors of the columns of Uneven Nine Patches. That was not easy for me to figure out since I had limited amounts of each rose fabric I wanted to use.  In the inspiration quilt most of the columns are blocks made in the same fabrics. I wanted to use rose themed fabrics for both the fabrics in the Uneven Nine Patches but could not find enough rose fabric combinations so decided to use some other fabrics as the borders in the Uneven Nine Patches. 

Then after I had all the background squares cut and Uneven Nine Patches made and was ready for assembly I thought "Oh my goodness...that's really a lot of orange. Yikes!".  So when it came time to decide what to use for side setting triangles I used a darker rose collage fabric hoping to tone down some of that orange. 

Maybe quilting will tone it down. 

Monday, December 23, 2019

Strings, Strings, Strings

 I've completed a couple of string quilt tops in the past few weeks; however, that didn't really seam to make much of a dent in the boxes of strings.  So I've been doing some mindless string sewing and have completed a few sets of blocks that need trimming and the papers removed. 

Strings around here are different from strips. Strings are usually the result of quilt back trimmings or wonky fabric ends or long  scraps leftover from a project that is not in a size of strip I save and those are usually between 1.5 and 2 inches in width. 

I've been using newspaper cut 10.5 inch square for foundations in some of these blocks. I'd rather remove papers than spend money on fabric foundations.  A 10 inch finished is a nice size for the smaller donation quilts I make and set 4 x 6. 

The first set of 24 ten inch blocks consists of a center black string and brights. I had a lot of black strings of different widths I laid on the diagonal and then I sewed bright strings on either side. 
 When trimmed they will be sewn together and look something like this. I don't normally name donation quilts but I think this might have to be called "The Eyes Have It" because there sure are a lot of scraps in this one with creatures peeping.  Thats' probably a better name than "Sleep With One Eye Open". 
 The second set of 24 ten inch blocks are browns and pinks. 

I used different solid pink strings for the center string and then added a brown string on each side of that and then pink strings on each side of those brown strings. And then I finished out the blocks with browns.  I think I used most of the brown strings in this one. 
 When I get around to trimming and sewing them together they will look similar to this. 
 I had made 24 nine inch Wonky Log blocks in red, white and blue. My goal was 48. These take short and skinny strings so  I put them on hold and made the blocks in the two above quilts before I proceeded on with these and cut long strings into shorter lengths while making these. I need to evaluate now if I have enough red,white and blue strings to make 24 more blocks.   
 And speaking of shorter and skinnier strings...I have a set of 11 ten inch blocks (aka UFO)  I made a long time ago when I only had a few strings to work with. I put them on hold until I gathered more string scraps and then forgot about them. Now that I have some bright shorter and skinnier strings I think I will make 13 more and then I will have a complete set of 24 for another donation quilt. I might have to make 14 of them though because I see Santa Claus in one of the blocks and I don't put holiday figures in donation quilts. Maybe I can just replace the Santa scrap? and not make a whole new block. 
I have a big box of low volume strings so I made ten of these low volume String Hearts last year. They finish at about 6 x 9 inches. I really do not enjoy making these so I was thinking of throwing them in the orphan block box. But I still need to make something from low volume strings. So I think I will make a Chinese Coin type quilt of low volume strings and use some of these hearts as a column or row. 

Friday, December 20, 2019

The Cats, The Orphans and The Strings

Three smaller quilt tops are finished and in the quilting queue. All are at least 40 x 56.  
Clowder Puff

I started these blocks in December 2018 and used a free pattern I see is no longer available. 
I made a few cats each month from scrap chunks as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project this year. I used gray scraps for the backgrounds.
This will either be a donation quilt or a quilt for one of my grand nieces or grand nephews who will arrive next year. 
Second Fiddle

I don't usually name donation quilts but that name popped into my head for this quilt just now because it is in secondary colors and used string scraps.   Or you could say I was fiddling around in the strings in secondary colors. 
A quilty friend sent me that light green floral print I used for the 2 inch center strings and 5 inch squares. I didn't have quite enough of it so made do with some other light green squares I cut from the scrap chunks. 
The purple and orange used in the HSTs were all scrap chunks and the strings came right out of the big box of strings.  I probably have enough strings in the secondary colors for another just plain string quilt.  This will be a donation quilt. 

Blue and White Orphans II

This came from the box of orphan blocks and is the second one I made from blue and white scraps. There were still a few blocks leftover so they will be used in an orphan block quilt in a different color way. 

Monday, December 16, 2019

Two Red, White, Blue Flimsies

 Red, White, Blue Strings
70 x 78

This year I've completed a lot of tops in red, white and blue. That resulted in a lot of red, white and blue strings so I decided to make this quilt to use those strings as well as some red and blue scraps that went into those HSTs. 

The inspiration for this quilt (below)...

...came from a quilt called String Fling from American Patchwork and Quilting August 2012 designed by Glenn Dragone. I made my blocks smaller (8.5 unfinished) so made more of them than in the instructions and I used paper as the foundation for the string blocks. My border is a little different than the instructions. So basically I used the picture as inspiration and did my own thing. 
 I think it has kind of a vintage vibe so maybe that is why I was drawn to it. 
 I also like string quilts and this one is a little different so I found it interesting. 
 I might have to give this one a try in a smaller donation quilt size and a different color way since my string box is still overflowing and this was fun to make. 
 Sail Away
60  x 72
from the book Sugar Sack Quilts by Glenna Hailey
 This called for 440 - two inch unfinished HSTs so lots of scraps were used to make them. Some scraps came from the recently finished Kansas Troubles top which also used 2 inch unfinished pieces. 
 I was kind of disappointed to see that I evidently used some off white instead of white when I made those HSTs for the smaller ship sails. That might be Kona Snow which I thought I kept in a separate place for use with 30s fabrics. Hopefully when all is quilted it won't be that noticeable but right now it really stands out to me although I hadn't noticed when the top was inside. Guess I need better lighting in the sewing room. 
 When I made that string quilt I pulled all the red, white and blue strings from the string box and put them in a separate box. Rather than throw the assortment back into the general population of strings I decided to make some wonky log cabin blocks. I'm aiming for 48 nine inch finished blocks. 
I also made some four inch red, white and blue crumb blocks. A lot of these crumbs came from trimming string blocks. I hate to throw anything away. I hate to waste plus I have an irrational fear that someday soon I will run out of fabric and regret throwing things away if I did so.  So, anyway...I put the crumb blocks into a nine patch. I'm aiming for 12 twelve inch finished nine patches with crumbs and red solid scraps. I think then I will add a blue sashing with red star cornerstones for another nice little donation quilt.