Thursday, February 28, 2019

It's a Flimsy! The Farm

 The Farm
66 x 88
It's a flimsy!

I've gone back and forth on names for this but finally am going to settle on The Farm. When I was a young girl I used to spend the summers on my grandparents' farm. Those were good times and I couldn't wait to get to "The Farm" every year and play with cousins, help Aunt Marie in the garden, read Uncle Leo's old books, enjoy grandma's country cooking.  It was a magic place and I learned many things from my grandmother and listened to her stories of survival during the depression era. I vowed when I grew up I would live on a farm and I do.  When I was sewing these blocks with farm and garden themed fabrics it brought back lots of memories of "The Farm". 

 I modified a pattern from Kathy Doughty's book Adding Layers that she called House Party.   Her version was shorter and had a border with appliqued items all around but I don't really like borders or to applique so I made it longer for a nice sized lap quilt.  Maybe it needs a plain green border ( farm field?) or something to tie it all together? I'll let it simmer awhile before I decide if it needs one. 
 Actually I'm not really even sure I like it all that much now that I've completed the top so maybe I'll like it better with a plain border. It was a lot of work with all those Y seams to join blocks around a center square and then Y seams again to assemble blocks on the diagonal.  

I still have pieces of some of these fabrics and I'm thinking of a different version of The Farm now. 

As I explained earlier in the month this was my UFO #109 and I decided to dig it out of the box and get it to flimsy stage before month end. And so I have. 

Note: We play a monthly Random Numbers game on the Stashbusters Yahoo Group to help those of us with lots of UFOs to move them forward. #109 was one of the random numbers drawn for February.  This is my first year to join in the Random Numbers game and so far it has helped me to move my UFOs forward.  There is also a Stashbuster UFO Challenge to help move UFOs forward. I won 40 FQs last year.  Fun and Games!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

It's a Flimsy! Vintage Thingamajigs

Vintage Thingamajigs
It's a flimsy!
60 x 78

 Six inch blocks with twenty-nine pieces. 
 I started making the blocks last year after I was inspired by some vintage blocks on Flickr.  I am not sure of the name of the block so I started calling them Vintage Thingamajigs. 

The way I decided to make them may be an Ohio Star variation. 
I thought I used all the same red solid background but as I put them together and ironed the rows I could see that not all reds are created equal.  And that's okay.  Most of the fabrics were 30s reproductions with some old shirts thrown in for fun. 

So far I haven't found a suitable backing in my stash. 
I'm going to hand quilt with big stitches with perle cotton - probably black - in the red spaces. 

Monday, February 25, 2019

Shirts and Giggles - The Latest Border

I've added a border of Flying Geese to my vintage inspired quilt I'm calling Shirts and Giggles. 

It is now a 52 inch square. 

I made the Flying Geese from old shirts (SHIRTS) and some fabrics that I thought looked like old grandma dresses (GIGGLES). 

 Now I need to do some math to figure out the next border - Puss in the Corner blocks and sashing. I'm thinking I won't add the sashing between blocks but time will tell. 
 This is my inspiration. 
It was a vintage quilt for sale once upon a time on Ebay. 

Sunday, February 24, 2019


 Two Donation Quilts
Both 40 x 60

The October theme for the Sunshine Online Quilt Guild  (SOQG) block lotto was Sunshine.  I made several different blocks that seemed pretty sunny to me. I sent in two of each for the lotto drawing and kept two of each for myself to make my own Sunshine quilt.  This was the result which is now finished. 

I used up most of my yellow and orange scrap chunks but that left me with other yellow scraps I used in this month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks.   The quilt is actually brighter than it looks.  You almost need sunglasses to look at it.  But it was nice and cheery to finish up on a cold and dark winter day. 
 I used a yellow solid on the back and you can see how I quilted it on my DSM.  I used the same yellow solid for the binding. 

Then I was also one of the winners of the October SOQG lotto. Rather than let the 15 blocks linger in my block orphanage I made a quilt top right away with the winnings. I noticed a lot of blue in the blocks. I had a piece of yellow with blue floral stripes left in the scrap chunks so made some Flying Geese with it. The blue and orange wings were also from the scrap bin. 

 And another quilt with a Sunshine theme is now finished. It is also much brighter in person. 

This one has a yellow fleece backing so I skipped the batting. This is the first time I've used fleece for a backing and I thought I would have problems quilting it especially since I quilted it on my backup machine because my main one is in the repair shop but it was a breeze to quilt, thank goodness. I have a couple more pieces of fleece in different colors I will use as future backings.  It washed up just fine too.   I quilted it the same way as the other one and made a scrappy binding using leftover trimmings from other quilt backs that fit with the color scheme. 

from my

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Odds and Ends

 Double X Variation and Snowballs
Four inch blocks

These blocks were inspired by a vintage quilt
 There are several Double X Variations. I'm using No. 3 from Ladies' Art Company Block Tool but I cut my pieces with Easy Angle ruler so use different sized pieces from the Block Tool instructions.   I was looking for a block that had different sized pieces so I could really dig into my milk crate of scrap chunks and reduce those pieces.  I roughly define chunks as anything greater than a 4.5 inch square and less than a fat quarter.  I don't cut fabric just to fill my scrap bins of various sized scraps (1.5, 2, 2.5, 3.5, 4.5) so if I have a block that uses different sizes of pieces I rarely have a match of fabrics I can pull from those bins (in this case 2.5 and 1.5 inch pieces) so I use scrap chunks.  After I cut my pieces from the chunk I might further cut what is left of the chunk to throw it in my other scrap bins.  So in this case from the chunks I cut a 2.5 inch piece and a 1.5 inch piece for my blocks and anything that remains of those pieces will go into the 2.5 inch and 1.5 inch scrap bins. And there might be a 2 inch scrap left of the chunk so that will go into the 2 inch scrap bin. Or if there's less than a 1.5 inch piece left that is wider than 1 inch it will go into the string box.   This is what works for me to make the most efficient use of my fabric. 

Anyway...I was inspired by another vintage quilt. I'm using scrap chunks to make the blocks - a few each month in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month. Oh, and the background?...well, I continue to try to make do with my stash and I'm running low on solids or neutral background fabrics but I have a couple of large pieces of this minty green Kona that I accidentally purchased years ago when I meant to purchase Kona Spring. (At the time I was using Kona Spring in a quilt with 30 reproduction fabrics because it most closely matched the green my grandmother used in her quilts.) I decided to give it a try. I guess the amount of background fabric will determine the size of my quilt. 

Last week while I was browsing all the Rainbow Scrap Challenge links I saw Kathy making Economy Path blocks.    And that reminded me that several years ago I made a few Plus blocks - a larger version of those Economy Path blocks.  I decided I might as well work on those again this year using my 2.5 inch scraps. 

 These were added to the pile this week and I have put the blocks in the RSC projects box so I remember to make them each month. 

 Also last week while following Rainbow Scrap Challenge links I saw Lori making Garlic Knot blocks. Everytime I see them I tell myself I should make some.  So the time has come and I've added another RSC project made with scraps from the 2.5 inch scrap bin. 
 While I was making those blocks something just seemed familiar about them.  I finally figured out what that was. Years and years but not eons ago I participated in a 12 inch block swap made with Autumn themed fabrics.  The block  we swapped is called Arrowhead Puzzle at Quilter's Cache. 
 I found I had 13 blocks. (I previously used some blocks in orphan block quilts).  I've been wondering which UFO(s) I could finish up for the Hands2Help Comfort Quilt Project this year.  I definitely want to make a twin sized one for the Carolina Hurricane Quilt Project so...
...I guess I need to start making more Arrowhead Puzzle blocks. 

Friday, February 22, 2019

Chocolate Swirls

 I've slowly been adding the outside ring with points to my Chocolate Swirls.  Next step will be to applique them to a background. As usual, because I rarely pull all my fabrics at the start of a project,  I'm not quite sure at this point what the background will be but I'm looking through my stash. I don't think I have enough of any one fabric. Each block requires a 20 inch square so I may mix it up a bit.  The quilt will have three columns of four blocks and two columns of a red and brown stripe in between.  Most of the blocks will probably get this Dark Chocolate fabric background. 
 I was going to try to keep most of the points brown and the rest of the outer ring white or cream but I may mix that up a bit too. 
 Maybe a background or two will be red. Or not.  
And maybe a few of the blocks won't follow the brown points and white/cream outer ring theme. 

Eight more rings to go! It takes me longer to cut the pieces than to sew them together. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Selvage Stars

 Selvage Stars

I've added six more to the pile. 
These are twelve inch blocks and the stars are foundation pieced on to phone book pages. 

I decided to alternate blocks with red and yellow backgrounds after I saw a vintage string star quilt with a similar color scheme at Mingei International Museum.  
 I have to say I was really pretty stingy when I started cutting and saving selvages. But this pattern calls for 1 inch pieces of fabric so my selvages work pretty well.  I always think it's fun to see what shows up in an itty bitty piece of fabric.  
I spy sheep... 
 ...snowmen, butterflies, gumdrops, footprints, cat tails, "girls", chocolate chip cookies, (red strips that don't match up)...
 ...hugs and kisses...

 ...sewing machines, spider, duck...

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Another Six Pointed Star

Minnie Stars

 Yesterday I lamented that I think I'm sixty degree angle challenged. I hope to get better with practice.   I've also been making these stars that require sixty degree angle cuts so I'm getting lots of practice figuring out how to flip the ruler and line it up properly before cutting.  

I'm making all the triangle blocks first and will make the final arrangement of blocks that form the stars when all the blocks are made. 
 I've been using solids and tone on tones from stash - blues for the triangle sides and warm colors for the triangle points.  This is going to be a big quilt and I'm not sure I have enough blues but I'll use up what I have before I go on a blues buying binge. 

I think these latest blocks bring me to a total of 28 out of my goal of 128. 
 This is another one inspired by a vintage quilt...
...called Minnie Stars. 

Monday, February 18, 2019

Craving Complex

 I've been concentrating on finishing up all the donation quilt tops I made last year. I still have a lot of tops to finish but I think I need a break from that goal for a week or so.  I've been craving something new; something complex.  So I made a this star block - the first of 25.   It's not really all that complex to make once the sixty degree angled pieces are cut. I think I'm sixty degree angle challenged. Maybe that will change with practice. 
Anyway, this instructions for this quilt is from American Patchwork and Quilting October 2015 and is inspired by a vintage quilt. You know how I love vintage quilts. This one has been on my list since I saw it in 2015. And lucky me...before I retired I used to buy muslin almost every time I saw it on sale (mostly to use with my 30s reproduction and civil war reproduction fabrics) so I have the 4+ yards needed for the background. I considered using another color but I don't have a lot of yardage in solid colors and would have to buy it. I'm not going to buy fabric when I can make do with muslin in the stash. 

Sunday, February 17, 2019

A Home Run

 Home Run

(Baseball themed Happy Blocks)

40 x 60

Ready for giving or gifting. 

 I'm still trying to finish up a bunch of donation tops I made last year in an effort to move out odds and ends and bits and pieces of this and that. 

 I have a box - my HAPPY PLACE- full of a variety of Happy Blocks and centers for Happy Blocks. Most are the result of a variety of swaps I participated in with different groups back when the grandkids were younger.  Sometimes we swapped Happy Blocks, sometimes we swapped novelty centers in different sizes with or without a theme and sometimes we sent around centers to a group of people and they bordered our centers and sent them back (when postage was cheaper) and I bordered theirs and sent them all back. 
 I found an almost complete set of baseball themed Happy Blocks in my Happy Place.  I only had to make about four more blocks and I had a top.  Good thing! Those bits and pieces weren't doing anyone any good stuck in a box. 
 I probably have enough centers and fabric for two more baseball themed quilts this size. But I'm thinking after I get all these small 40 x 60 quilts finished and donated I'll move on to twin sized quilts for donation. So a baseball themed twin sized quilt may be in my future. 

 I pieced the back.  
I quilted it on my DSM with swirls or are they spirals? 
The binding is a variety of blues from the leftover binding box.