Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Plot and The Pile Thickens

The plot? 

I've been making my blocks from rose themed scraps if possible. Otherwise I cut into rose themed yardage. I few in a few butterfly themed scraps too.  

The pile?

We are on day 9 of the mystery and I'm all caught up on blocks through today. I think that is a pile of 76 blocks.  

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Plus Postage

This week I worked with my blue-green 1.5 inch scraps and only had enough for one Plus Postage block. 

This pattern is from American Patchwork and Quilting April 2016 called Plus Postage. It is designed by Susan Ache.

The Beantown Girls by [Healey, Jane]

Speaking of the Red Cross...I recently finished reading The Beantown Girls. I'm a fan of WWII historical fiction but I had never heard of the Red Cross Clubmobiles and the Doughnut Dollies until I read this book. 

Friday, March 27, 2020

More Little Baskets

I've been working on this UFO for the last couple of weeks. When I blogged about this UFO on March 11  I had four out of a target of 35 eight inch blocks and now there are 20. 

Moving forward! Maybe I'll have 35 blocks by the end of next month. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Playing with Clarissa

 I've been working on my Clarissa blocks for at least 20 minutes each day.  My March OMG (One Monthly Goal) was to complete at least five blocks.  I've completed eight. 
And now I have a total of 13 blocks toward my goal of 36. 

Inspired by a vintage quilt each block consists of 36 hourglasses (144 pieces cut from 1.5 inch strips). 

This will be an ongoing 20 minute a day project until I reach my goal of 36 blocks.  The 20 minutes includes cutting, trimming, ironing, and sewing. And although not always perfect ( I decided to be brave and show a photo of the back of a block) it includes twisting of the seams. 

Playing and twisting with Clarissa daily! 

So this is my March OMG finish post
my April OMG will be to complete 8 more blocks. 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Pneuma - A New Top

  1. (the vital spirit, soul, or creative force of a person)

It's a top!
74 x 87

It all started with a box of low volume strings and...

...with a few string heart blocks I made a few years ago.  My original intent was to make a whole quilt of String Hearts but then I decided I did not like the process. 

I had a  c. 1890 string quilt in my vintage inspiration journal. I decided those heart blocks would be a nice center row for this quilt and so I set about making my version. 

The Hourglass and HST rows were cut from low volume pieces from the 3.5 inch scrap bin and some were cut from scrap chunks. 
  Sometimes making a quilt from actual scraps and strings is a lot of work...far more work than just cutting up yardage. Taming long unevenly cut strings with strings...mostly backing not often an easy task.  But I did enjoy the process. 

 Pnuema is now ready for quilting...someday. 

Now I'm ready for something bright and wild. 

No...I did not empty my box of low volume strings AND I now have a big shoe box of low volume crumbs and short strings.  What to do...what to do...hmmmm...

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Blue-green 2.5 Inch Scraps

This week I worked with my 2.5 inch scraps and made some Dakota Farmer Stars...
...and Hourglass blocks. 

Friday, March 20, 2020


I decided to reward myself with a new start because I completed my goal of finishing 18 UFOs this quarter.  Even though I told myself I was not going to make any more mystery quilts I decided to break my vow and follow along with a new Laundry Basket Quilts mystery.  I've been looking for a quilt to make with rose themed scraps and yardage if need be.  The first block was released today and I have finished all four of mine using scraps. 

While I'm in the rose themed scraps box I will also cut  and prep more squares for...
...that I started last year to use rose themed scraps and crochet thread I have on hand. 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

A Finish!

 A Donation Quilt
40 x 60

 In December I received a small box of scraps and some blocks from a friend. There were 21 Quarter Log Cabin blocks that were about 8 inch square unfinished. They all appeared to start with a 3.5 inch aqua square surrounded by 2 inch scraps.  I later found some starter squares were four inches or so so I trimmed them all to 8 inch square usually trimming the starter square to 3.5 inches.  There were also three blocks of that 21 that were missing one side. I added a 2 x 8 inch scrap from my 2 inch scrap bin and made sure those blocks were also 8 inch square with the aqua starter square trimmed to 3.5 inches.  I then made 3 more blocks from my own scraps so I had a total of twenty-four eight inch square blocks.  Then I decided I wanted the blocks to be close to 10 inches because most of the small donation quilts I make measure 40 x 60  and that's easy to do with 10 inch blocks.   That meant I needed to add two more rounds to the blocks.  My 2 inch scrap bin didn't have enough long lengths in it for 2 rounds so I decided to cut what was in there for the outside round.  I went to my scrap chunks and found some aqua pieces and cut those for the first additional round I needed to add. 

I get by with a little help from my friends. The reminds-me-of-grandma-calico backing fabric came in a box of goodies from a friend in February. The scrappy binding came in a box of goodies from another friend a few weeks ago.  There was a bag of 2.25 inch binding pieces. I normally cut my bindings at 2.5 inches and have never used 2.25 binding. I found that it works better for use on quilts where I sew down the binding by machine which is a requirement for a couple of places I donate quilts. 

This quilt will probably be donated to Wrap-A-Smile, a Rotaplast partner.  Rotaplast International, Inc. is committed to helping children and families worldwide by eliminating the burden of cleft lip and/or palate, burn scarring, and other deformities.  

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Not Hooping It Up

 I've been hand quilting this large 85 x 85 quilt I call Milquetoast.  It got that name because it pales in comparison to the loud and bright colors I prefer to use. But the Bright Hopes blocks were a nice way to use a box of low volume scraps accumulated over the years.  I finished the top back in August 2019 and I would say it is now in the hoop but it's not. 

I am not using a hoop for this one because I'm big stitching with long running stitches about 1/4 inch away from the sides of the long pieces and I didn't want to keep moving the hoop every few stitches or use multiple needles. 
 And speaking of needles I found some sashiko needles at Hobby Lobby so decided to give them a try. I'm using one of the longest ones and I'm glad I am. It seems that without a hoop to move and with a sashiko needle and big stitches that the stitching goes much faster. I'm using mostly white perle #12 but I don't think I have enough for the entire quilt so I'm filling in and stitching some rows with pink, blue, gray and yellow threads in perle #8 that I have on hand. (I'm not using that black thread. That was in my basket because I'm stitching french knot hair on a topsy turvy doll to be with it.)
I still have a long way to go but I'm moving forward and having a good time. 

I guess I'll also mention that this is a "summer quilt" and it has no batting. 

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Blue-green Two Inch Scraps

This week I worked with blue-green scraps in the 2 inch bin. 

Little Houses Made of Ticky Tacky
They finish at 3 inches. I've been making these for a couple of years. 

Wedding Rings that finish at 7.5 inches.  This is my second year of making these. 

 Little Stars that finish at 4.5 inches. I've been making these off and on for a number of years. I use 2 inch scraps for the background and little waste triangle pieces for the star points. I'm really trying to concentrate on making more of these this year. At year end I'm hoping there will be enough for a couple of small donation quilts. 
 Sixteen Patches that finish at 6 inches. I've been making these for a couple of years too. Last year I was thinking I would combine them with an alternate block but then decided against it and will just be using Sixteen Patches in a quilt. At this point I should count how many blocks I have and decide how many more I need. 

This month I've decided to make Hourglass Four Patches from 2 inch scraps. A single Hourglass finishes at 3 inches. The foursome finishes at 6 inches.  And since I cut the Hourglass pieces with a Companion Angle ruler I use the Easy Angle ruler to cut the beginning and ending pieces which results in little HST pieces I made and also combined into little foursomes. 

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Four Top Roundup

 Back on February 6 I blogged about some Little Cowhand fabric I found on sale that I wanted to use for backings. I also mentioned I had a large flat rate box of cowhand themed fabrics, pieces and parts I could use to make the tops.   Four tops have been made, the backings are ready and the cowhand fabrics are almost gone. 
 #1 top is 42 x 56. 

I had a bunch of 6.5 inch squares already fussy cut and ready to use but needed to cut a few more for this quilt. Then I made six inch Hourglass blocks in red and blue fabrics to use as an alternate block. I was inspired by Julie's post in January to make this top. 

 I cut pieces for my Hourglass blocks from 3.5 inch strips of fabric using the Companion Angle ruler.  You will see later that I cut my fabric exactly the same way to use for Flying Geese Star points.   I didn't want the beginning of the strips to go to waste so I started off cutting HSTs with the Easy Angle ruler. Then I cut several Hourglass/Flying Geese points and then I ended the strip by cutting more HSTs with the Easy Angle ruler. 
That left me with a pile of HST parts I also used up in these four tops. 

 Back to the top...I found this a quick and easy make and I really like it as way to use some big print novelties.  
 I'll be making more of this style of quilt.

And now it is paired up with the backing. 
 #2 top is 40 x 56.  

I had some odd scraps of different sizes of red gingham I used for the star points.  The sashing and some background came from a piece of leftover wide backing. The rest of the backgrounds are bandana prints from that large flat rate box of cowhand fabrics.  
 For the Star centers I used a couple of Little Cowhand fabrics I bought as remnants long ago. It's a different Little Cowhand fabric from that backing fabric I recently purchased. 
 At the top and bottom I added rows of HSTs. I cut some HSTs from red gingham scraps and paired them up with those HSTs I had leftover from cutting the background Flying Geese bodies. 

And here is the top paired up with the backing fabric. 
 #3 top is a 40 x 60 Happy Block top.  I already had 18 of these Happy Blocks in my large flat rate box. They were from a long ago swap.  So I only had to make six more blocks and assemble. 

 So this has basically been a UFO for a long time. 

I didn't have enough of that Little Cowhand fabric for a backing for this one but I did have this nice horse print in my stash - a gift from a quilty friend. 

 #4 is 42 x 45 and made use of leftovers. 

 I had two different Little Cowhand fabrics 12.5 inches x 42 inches in that large flat rate box. One has little cowboys and the other little cowgirls.  I didn't want to cut them up so made a type of Strippie quilt with them.  I used a bandana print and more of that leftover wide with star backing for the alternate strips.

And at top  and bottom I used more of those leftover HSTs and combined them with a red bandana print. 

And for the backing of this one I've pieced together the last piece of Little Cowhand backing fabric and on top and bottom I've added more of that red bandana print. 

Four tops and four backs are ready for some quilting but they are now at the bottom of a big pile of other flimsies waiting to be quilted. 

 And the leftover scraps???...well, I cut up some into a variety of different sizes of squares and are now in the Squares scrap bin.  I had some 3.5 and 6.5 inch pieces that are less than a square so those will get sewn into a strip and combined with other strips someday for a Chinese Coins quilt or two. 
 I had some longer strips I put into different bins I keep by width size. Those usually get made into Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks.  These are 1.5, 2, 2.5 and 3.5. 

 The remaining HST parts got made into HSTs and then into Broken Dishes blocks. I've been making Broken Dishes blocks from 3.5 inch scraps as one of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects and have quite a pile of them now. 

 This is all that is left in that large flat rate box of Cowhand fabrics. Well, actually the box is empty now. These fabrics are now in the miscellaneous kid's novelties box. 

 While I was out taking photos I thought they might be filming a remake of The Birds around here somewhere. The noise from thousands of grackles was almost deafening. At times the sky was black with them. 
They would sit in the trees for awhile and squawk away. I felt like they were eyeing me as a food source.  Then suddenly there would be a big swooping noise as they all took off at once and flew into trees in the front yard. Back and forth they went for awhile and then they were gone only to be back another day.  Creepy!