Sunday, November 24, 2019

This, That, And The Other Thing

 I rarely work on one quilt at a time or work on a quilt start to finish all in one year. I rarely pick all fabrics for a quilt before I start it. And I rarely cut all pieces for a quilt before I start it. 

So, this is a summary of what is going on in the sewing room right now. 

I've been working on Kansas Troubles 12 inch blocks. I started this quilt this year and it was inspired by a vintage quilt. I have been trying to make a few blocks each day and now have 20 of the 35 blocks I've decided I would like for a 5 x 7 layout that will measure 60 x 84 when finished. 

I've been making it with red, white and blue fabric and scraps as well as some men's shirts. 
 I used the Ladies' Art Company Block Tool for the block pattern. 
 I sort most of my scraps by size. The HSTs in the Kansas Troubles are two inches unfinished and I found this Sail Away pattern that calls for 440 - 2 inch unfinished HSTS  for pinwheels and "waves" so I'm going to start making those with scraps from Kansas Troubles before I throw the scraps in my 2 inch scrap bin. 
 Reminder to self...pattern is found in Sugar Sack Quilt book. 

 I also work on Beauteous (free pattern by Pat Bravo) a little each day...
...and have all 13 A blocks made. I said at the beginning of this post that I rarely choose all fabrics for a quilt before I begin. Well, this is an exception. I couldn't really choose fabrics as I make blocks for this quilt because they all kind of need to blend together in the finished quilt and the pattern calls for duplicates of blocks so I needed to figure out if I had enough of each fabric that I pulled from stash. If I didn't I chose another until I had all the fabrics A-S picked out. I hope my choices work out. 

I am not currently working on any hand quilting in the evening because I am out of batting so instead I have been cutting pieces for these blocks with scissors and paper template each evening and then I sew them up the next day. 

The curves and paper template and cutting with scissors of Beauteous reminded me that during a power outage this summer I cut pieces for a bunch of Wagon Wheel blocks for a quilt I started back in 2013. 

So yesterday I decided to sew together a few of those blocks. I'll sew a couple each day until that pile is gone then assess where I am with that UFO and work on it until it is a flimsy (or top, if you prefer).  I've been using 30s reproduction fabrics and solids to make these blocks. 

 Then I finally got around to piecing a test block for an Endless Chain quilt. A few months ago Sandy who blogs at Sew High sent me a link to an Endless Chain quilt and asked me if I would sew along with her and make one.  Well, yes, I replied.  But then I had so many different ideas for fabrics and colors that I could not decide what I wanted to do.  I also investigated other Endless Chain patterns like the one at Quilter's Cache and one in a book I own.  In the end I decided on the one in the link Sandy originally sent and decided to make templates (paper and scissor cutting again) and give the blocks a try.   I decided I would use a variety of gray pieces I have for garden paths (the chain) and florals for the rest.  I used scraps for these test blocks and decided I will move forward and actually declare this a new project. 
In the end I will probably set the blocks on point and use floral fabric for side setting triangles. Sandy let me know she has her background fabric now and she is ready to begin on hers. Not sure what pattern or color scheme she is using yet.  Anyone else care to join us? 

 I really enjoy piecing but I really don't enjoy sewing blocks together.  So I am usually working on getting one project to flimsy (or top, if you prefer) stage.  I have all the Sixteen Patch Stars webbed together and have been trying to now sew the rows together - at least one row a day. 

 I've been trying to work on orphan block quilts too and just finished this flimsy (or top, if you prefer) that measures 40 x 56.  The Broken Wheel blocks are left over from a quilt I finished in 2016.  The border fabric was left over from a quilt backing. The six inch four patches came in a package from a quilty friend. 

I pulled a bunch of blue and white orphan blocks for the next orphan block quilt. 

So that's a little of this and that. And the other thing? I have to report for jury duty tomorrow at 8 a.m. sharp.  Last time I was on a jury for a civil case (homeowner vs home builder) I learned more than I ever wanted to know about Tyvek.  Boring!! 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

It's a Finish! Puss in the Corner

 Puss in the Corner
60 x 75
It's a finish!

Ready for donation.

 Last year I had a bunch of cat themed scraps I wanted to use up. I think I had enough scraps for five quilts. In this one I used some larger print pieces for the block centers. 

 The blocks are 15 inch (finished) Puss in the Corner blocks with a puss in the center. 
 I quilted it on my DSM with large swirls. 

The back is a tan gently used 100% cotton sheet from the thrift store. 


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

It's a Finish! Text Me!

 Its a finish!
Text Me
62 x 84

Sorry for the fuzzy picture. It was cloudy and dreary outside. 

Here is a little better picture of it before it was quilted. 


This is a donation quilt that will probably go to Humility Homes and Services. When I get a pile of 12 twin sized donation quilts I will let the grandkids pick 6 for donation. Then I will keep some for other occasions and continue to add to that pile. Each time the pile reaches 12 then six will be donated. 
 I used a free pattern called 2 Hour Couch Quilt.  I thought it would be a good way to use that center fabric without cutting it up. I bought a lot of it deeply discounted when Hancock Fabrics went out of business. I've made the granddaughters several things with the fabric like pillowcases and tote bags but they are no longer in the pink phase so thought some other little girl would like a pink quilt. 
 I also thought it would be a good way to use selvages with text. And it's not like I don't have anything better to do but I kind of had a theme going for each of the selvage squares like animals...

 ...and Summer fun. 
 Some of the other fabrics echoed things like hearts, butterflies and flowers found in the center fabric.  I had a couple of different fabrics with letters on a black background I used for the border.  It was an easy make but it took awhile to get it quilted. 

I quilted it with four petaled flowers on my DSM. 

The backing was pieced. The fabric with letters in squares was gifted by a quilty friend. The hearts below that was a leftover piece from another quilt back. The fabric on the right that I also used for binding was a thrift store purchase from long ago when I could actually find yardage at the thrift stores. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A Rail Fence Flimsy

 It's a flimsy (or top if you prefer)!
Rail Fence
90 x 90
 These little three inch (finished) blocks are close cousins of the Bitcoins I finished a few days ago.  
 I started making little blocks and those Bitcoins back in 2017 as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project to use 1.5 inch scraps. 
900 blocks.
2700 pieces.
Lots of 1.5 inch scraps. No strip sets. 
Oh what fun!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Its a Finish! Bitcoins

84 x 84
It's a finish! 

I tried to take some pictures yesterday but it was partly cloudy, it was cold and it was windy so this is as good as it gets. 

 Except for chunks, strings, selvages and crumbs my scraps are sorted by size. This quilt was made from 1.5 inch scraps. From my blog history it appears I started combining a 1.5 x 2.5 inch colored scrap with a low volume scrap of the same color and just made 2.5 inch unfinished squares for the Parts Department around May 2017 as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project.  I figured I could use them for a border, to make Four Patches or Whirlagigs someday when I had enough of them. 
 Around July 2017 I played around with the little squares and somehow ended up sewing them together by color into blocks of three columns and seven rows probably because I had at least 21 little squares of several different colors.   I called them 21 Patches even though there were 42 pieces. 

By November 2017 I was calling them Whatchamacallits because I was not sure what to call them but those blocks needed a name. 
 Sally of Objects of Design started making some blocks and by September 2018 she had a whole quilt top of them. She called hers Bitcoins and I thought that name was clever and more descriptive so my 21 Patch turned Whatchamacallits turned into Bitcoins. 

 In June of this year Bitcoins became a flimsy (or top if you prefer) that consists of 3528 little pieces of fabric if I calculated correctly. It was a charm quilt until it wasn't. I intended to use all different colored scraps and each time the Rainbow Scrap Challenge came around I only cut one piece off of each scrap that was in there; however, since it took me several years worth of scraps to get all the blocks I need a scrap may have been in the 1.5 inch scrap bin from year to year so there are repeats. 
 And then I finally put it in the hoop and started big stitching with ecru perle #12 that I had on hand. I didn't mark anything. I just big stitched about 1/4 inch either side of the lengthwise seams. 

The quilt fits perfectly on my bed and since it is square it can be oriented any way on the bed. 
I used wide muslin for the backing and muslin scraps for the binding. 
When I hand quilt I usually use Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 batting. 


Thursday, November 14, 2019

Its a Finish! Gallimaufry

56 x 80
It's a finish!
 This was inspired by a c. 1890 quilt top found at Rocky Mountain Quilts described as follows:
"This is a whimsical original rendition of an Irish Chain, which to follow the pattern needs to be viewed from a distance. How amazing would this be in a great room over a fireplace? this quilt was obviously pieced by someone who loved calicoes. No solid colors here. The fabrics date from 1860 to 1890, giving us the creation date of this piece. This is a quilt top for a fabric junkie. There are many patterns pieced on this top. Variation of diamond in a square, old maids puzzle, bow tie, broken dishes, four patch, all combined together creating the most unusual Irish Chain I have ever seen. All pieced by hand, and ready to quilt."
 I made four inch finished blocks from scraps.  In order for the chain to show when finished I used muslin and some white scraps for one half of the HSTs. 
 I just love all the secondary patterns that show up. 

 In a quilt like this with lots of small pieces I think all scraps play nicely together...Halloween, Patriotic, florals, geometrics, 30s, men's shirts...
 ...and its always fun to see what shows up in itty bitty pieces of fabric. 
 I also used muslin for the binding hoping it would help accentuate the muslin chains in the quilt. 

 I quilted it on my DSM with some clam shells that look a little wonky. It's the first time I've tried them.  I started at the bottom of the quilt and made the clam shell arcs sideways across the width of the quilt. I used each 2 inch space as my guide. Those squares got either half an arc or whole depending upon row.  So all completed rows were always at the right of the needle. 

 When I got to the middle of the quilt I turned it around and quilted the arcs sideways in a different direction with the rows of finished arcs to the left of the needle. 

 The clam shells are little wonky but I'm okay with that. 

After the quilt is washed they will crinkle up and disappear into the fabric a little more. I only have a wringer washer so didn't feel like getting it washed up yet since washing and drying a larger quilt around here is a lot of work. 

The backing is one of those Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements collage fabrics I just love. Its called Cigar Box Labels. I happened to make a quick stop at Hobby Lobby for thread a couple of months ago. While there I always check the sale bin It was my lucky day because Cigar Box Labels was in the sale bin for $4 a yard so I bought all that was left on the bolt which was about five yards. 

The reason I like this particular fabric is because I used to collect tobacco related ephemera like these cigarette silks and cards. We've been doing a bit of remodeling lately and I think this quilt and all the tobacco related items that includes a couple of ash tray tables, art deco cigar ash trays and cigar trade cards and magazine advertising would look good in a spare bedroom we are turning into a sort of office/computer room/library/ genealogy and scrapbook storage area.