I think my April theme to move UFOs forward will be CHAINS.
The idea came to me a couple of days ago when I was working on these blocks I call Gallimaufry which are inspired by a vintage quilt. There are fourteen pieces in each four inch block. I cut the little 1.5 inch HSTs and bagged them up as I was cutting QST pieces for another quilt. I cut the other half of the HST from white or muslin scraps. I wanted white so the chains that form can be seen more clearly. The 1.5 inch squares and 2.5 inch squares come from the respective scrap bins. I made some in green since green is the color of the month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. If I remember correctly I need around 400 blocks and I have about a third of those made.
I started this quilt early last year.
Working on those Gallimaufry blocks somehow motivated me to work on my Carolina Chain blocks with light chains...
...and with dark chains.
I also started these blocks some time last year. After I made my Fractured Rainbow quilt that used 2 inch scraps I cut from scrap chunks I was left with a lot of 2 inch scraps so I started some Carolina Chain blocks as well as a couple of others that use 2 inch scraps.
While in chain mode I dug into my Trail Mix project box (started September 2014) to see what needed to be done to move it forward. I have three of the five different sets of blocks made so I cut pieces for the rest of the blocks. I've been using Autumn fabrics and my trail (or chain) is in yellows. I'm hoping it will remind me of a nice hike in the woods in Autumn.
Then I thought about my Interlocking Chains which I started in 2016 - fourteen inch blocks I made from 2.5 inch scraps. I need to dig it out to see how many more blocks I need to move it to flimsy stage. I'm thinking I have around 20 blocks.
And then there's my Jack's Chain #2.
Looks like I started it September 2014.
I don't think I've worked on it since April 2017 so it's about time I move it forward.
I'm looking forward to working on these old friends in April. How many will be flimsies at the end of April? Time will tell!!
The centers of these blocks, framed four patches, were from a long ago swap. The Massachusetts block calls for an 8.5 inch center so I used a framed four patch instead.
I was lucky to have enough larger pieces of batiks to finish these blocks. Most of my batiks are 1/4 and 1/2 yard pieces and I don't have many of those.
This is one of two UFOs I moved forward to flimsy stage this month.
Our Stashbusters Yahoo Group draws several random numbers to work on each month in order to move forward our UFOs. This month #3 was one of the numbers drawn and if you have over 100 UFOs (guilty as charged) then you can add 100 to that number for a bonus number to work on.
I had #103 listed as Batik Framed Four Patches.
But when I went to that project box I also found Batik Happy Blocks in the box. And that UFO I did not have listed. The Framed Four Patches were 8.5 inches unfinished and the Batik Happies were 8 inches unfinished. So I had two UFOs to work on - #103a and #103b. I'm happy to say that my project box is now empty and those old UFOs are now flimsies.
I'm thinking I may add a nine inch version of those center Broken Wheel blocks to the top and bottom of the quilt in order to make it longer. A 76 x 94 seems more suitable for a bed than a 76 inch square one.
Inspired by a vintage quilt it consists of Broken Wheels, Puss in the Corners and Flying Geese.
I used old men's shirts from the thrift store and some fabric from stash I thought looked like old grandma dresses.
I'm happy with how it turned out but I really think I want to make it longer. I'll set it aside for awhile an then decide. I also need to figure out what to use for the backing. Heaven knows I have a lot of other things to work on and get quilted before this one so I'm not in any hurry.
This is the vintage quilt that inspired mine. It was for sale on Ebay once upon a time.
There's very few quilts I've made more than once but I never get tired of making Happy Block quilts.
These blocks have 4 inch centers and 1 3/4 inch sides which makes a 6 inch finished block.
Some of the blocks were swapped as well as the centers with the I Spy Quilt Swap Yahoo Group I joined 14 years ago when the first grandchild was born Some of the centers came from a few other swaps elsewhere and a few centers were won. All of the centers are members of the animal kingdom - birds, amphibians, fish, invertebrates, mammals and reptiles.
I've made several quilts to give to the grandkids when they graduate high school.
I made this one for Isabelle (aka Izzy or Dizzy Izzy) because she loves all creatures great and small and for as long as I can remember she has always said she wanted to be a veterinarian. I guess that has changed. She recently was accepted into an Accelerated Associate Degree program which means when she graduates high school she will not only receive a high school diploma but she will also receive an Associate of Arts degree. When I congratulated her and mentioned that it was a wonderful opportunity for a future veterinarian I was informed that she now wants to be a psychotherapist. Ok. But she still loves all creatures great and small.
I free motion quilted it on my Brother DSM with some rough lemon peels in variegated rainbow thread on top and gray in the bobbin. I haven't washed it yet so it's not all soft and crinkly. I have an old wringer/washer and no place for larger quilts to dry flat so I wait until I have several and take them to the laundromat for washing and drying. When it crinkles it will hide most of my quilting imperfections. (I hope).
And it's a Murphy's Law of Quilting that whenever your hand shakes while quilting it will happen with dark thread on a light background or vice versa. Oh for the love of crinkles!
Happy Block quilts usually make a big dent in my solids, tone on tones,polka dots and blenders.
A quilty friend asked me if I'd like a bunch of old embroidery transfers that belonged to her grandmother. They arrived last week and I couldn't wait to look at them all. And then I couldn't wait to use some.
I immediately whipped up a quilt block with an eight inch muslin center and some scraps, picked a transfer to till the spot and I had it embroidered in no time. I liked it.
So I made a second block.
I've had these 3 inch scraps laying next to the sewing machine ever since I finished a Triangle Tiles flimsy in January. I was trying to figure out what to do with them. Several ideas have gone through my head but nothing got started. Then I almost cut them all in half to use in my Spider Webb quilt that I'm making with 1.5 inch scraps. But that didn't get done either.
I have enough of those scraps to make 23 blocks that finish at 12.5 inches. I'm aiming for a large quilt so after I use those scraps to make these Puss in the Corner blocks I'll probably use other sizes of 30s reproduction scraps to make a variety of smaller sized blocks - still with places for embroidery. I think I may even use odds and ends of rick rack here and there in the blocks. I used to pick up a lot of it at thrift stores. I've also picked up a lot of embroidery threads at thrift stores over the years.
I've made a few blocks and have them stamped and ready for embroidery. I have a few short trips in my future and this will make a nice little take along project. It will also make a nice summer project for when it is too hot to hand quilt.
I have another quilt with embroidery planned - a Crochet Fusion type quilt with rose themed scraps on the front and embroidered squares on the back but first I have to finish my Blind Man's Fancy Tea in the Rose Garden quilt so I have those rose themed scraps.
I started making HRTs from 4.5 inch scraps late last year as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project. This is my second batch of green ones since I made green ones last year.
I also started making Fractured Rails last last year. I've been making them using a unit that Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession uses in a few of her quilts in a few of her books. I call them Fractured Units. I've been adding a complementary color to make the blocks. I made a couple of red and green ones when red was the color of the month in January. Here's four more.
I have some blue and orange blocks too and a yellow and blue one made last month which is incorrect since it should have been yellow and purple.
These are big blocks that finish at 16 inches.
Now that I see the red and green together and have several blocks I'm thinking I'll make two twin sized quilts - one in red and green and the other in blue and orange and I'll just take this out of the RSC projects for 4.5 inch scraps and use scrap chunks to finish up blocks since the 4.5 inch scrap bin is starting to run low of scraps.
I can't decide if I should put the blocks on point or...
Well, I could have pretended I didn't see those batik Happy Blocks since I didn't have them officially listed as a UFO in my spreadsheet but where is the challenge in that? I decided to use all the blocks. Yesterday I posted what I'm doing with some of the official UFO #103 blocks - 24 inch Massachusetts blocks that call for 8.5 inch centers and those Framed Four Patches are 8.5 inches unfinished. Perfect! Or so I thought. In the process of figuring out which Framed Four Patches to use I found that some of them were not all the correct 8.5 inch size. (Remember they were swapped blocks). I don't really like trimming blocks but I decided I would trim the remaining Framed Four Patches to 8 inches and combine them with the Happy Blocks which were also swapped long ago but all the correct size.
And now I have flimsy #103b for lack of a better name. It's probably going to be gifted or donated so it doesn't really need a name anyway.
I think these swapped blocks were circa 2010 so it's nice to get them out of a project box and into quilts.
This is another one that came from the pink and white string box. The polka dot centers weren't scraps but I wanted a consistent center to tie the blocks together. I used newspaper as a foundation and made 10 inch blocks.
Now the rest of the pink and white strings are mixed in with some other low volume strings for string heart blocks.
I quilted it on my DSM with spirals in pink thread. The batting was pieced together from leftovers.
The backing was pieced with some pink quilt back trimmings that were too wide for the string box. Sometimes I use these wider pieces for bindings or cut them into the sizes of scraps I keep but I saw a bunch of wide pink ones and threw them into a pile last year thinking they would make a nice donation quilt back. And so they do.