Sunday, June 28, 2020

Selvage Stars

I've recently added 8 more Selvage Stars to my collection. That brings my total of blocks to 21 and I would like 35. 

My inspiration is a c1880 String Star quilt in the Pat L Nickols collection at Mingei International Museum. 

I found out about Mingei International Museum from Sally (Objects of Design) and she was also a spark of inspiration when I saw her String Star blocks inspired by a different quilt at Mingei. 
This is an old UFO I started back in December 2018.     I made six more blocks in January 2019 and then six more in February 2019 and then set it aside until a few weeks ago when I decided this should be my new 20 Minute Challenge since I completed my last one. I promise myself I'll work on making these blocks for at least 20 minutes per day until I have my 35 blocks. 
For foundations I've been using some very light weight pages from an old insurance semi annual report I knew would be good for something someday. Thank goodness we now receive these types of things electronically.  My 20 minutes a day may include sewing selvages to the foundations OR trimming and tearing off papers (all trimmings of paper and fabric go into compost pile) in front of TV in the evening OR assembling blocks. 

I've definitely found a renewed interest in this UFO and usually spend more than 20 minutes a day on it. 

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Pink Potpourri

Basket and Flower blocks made with 3.5 and 2 inch scraps. 

I thought I was finished with all my RSC blocks and pink scraps.  But I had that pink 3.5 inch width of scrap left on my cutting mat after making Buckeye Beauty blocks last week.  I got rid of most of the scraps in my 3.5 inch scrap bin and thought this scrap was too much to cut into squares which is what I've been doing with most of my scraps this year. 

And the Carolina Chain quilt that was supposed to use up all my 2 inch scraps didn't. So I used some 2 inch scraps as well as that 3.5 pink scrap and ended up with those Basket and Flower blocks which is now a new RSC project.  Blocks are 9 inch finished and will be set on point. At least that's the plan at this point in time. 
Then I just pieced a backing with spider webs and had that scrap on the cutting mat. You know I'm trying to keep my cutting mat cleaned off now. So since I had the 2 inch scrap bin out I found a pink scrap I could combine with the spider webs and made a Sixteen Patch to add to my collection. This is the second or maybe third year of making Sixteen Patches so I hope to have 130 of them by year end. 

Then I had this little quart baggie full of parts that featured a lot of pink. I received this baggie last year from a kind lady who wanted to send me some fabric and scraps from her mother-in-law's estate.  

There were parts for these eight inch Drunkard's Path blocks. I had to substitute those pink flowers in the block in the lower right because when I started ironing I forgot it had some polyester in it and my iron was too hot and... you can see the fabric started to melt.

Also in the baggie were some 3.5 inch squares and a few 2.5 inch squares. I'm not sure if there was a plan for all these parts to go together into one quilt or if someone was just cutting parts on a machine.  Anyway, I think I'll make a few four patches and add a one inch frame around them so I'll have some 8 inch finished blocks. And I'll use some of those squares as centers to Happy Blocks that will equal 8 inch blocks.   And I think I will be able to come up with enough 8 inch blocks (35, I think) for a small donation quilt set 5 x 7. 

So I started looking for framing fabrics. How about that...that piece of backing fabric leftover from my Carolina Chain quilt ((that has not been put away yet) has some pink and black and I have a little piece of pink polka dots (always fun) and...

And I think I should look in my cat fabric drawer because I'm pretty sure I have some pink and black cats to add to the mix and...

Yeah, I THOUGHT I was finished with pink!

Friday, June 26, 2020

It's a Finish! Carolina Chain

It's a finish! 
Carolina Chain
77 x 89.5

I started this in 2018 and finished the flimsy in July 2019. 

As you can see...lots of scraps were used in this one. But my 2 inch scrap bin is still pretty full. I do have other quilts in the works that use 2 inch scraps so hopefully my goal to empty that bin by year end will be met. 

I used a variety of scraps of dark blue for the side setting triangles. 

There's a funny story about that black/white Seattle Seahawks fabric. A long time ago I received 1/2 yard of it instead of what I actually ordered online. I called the company and they said to keep it and they would send the fabric I actually ordered. Well, thanks, but I don't know anyone in Seattle and I don't like sports so what should I do with that gift?  I threw it in with other black and white fabrics.  Several years after that I found out at a family reunion camp out that my niece was pregnant and I also learned a little about her husband and how they met. They met at college in Iowa but he was from Seattle (or somewhere around there. I can't remember just now.) AND he proposed to her at a Seattle Seahawks game. Oh, goodness! That immediately reminded me about that fabric.  So, when her daughter Sundae was born I sent along an I Spy quilt and the letter S was represented by the Seattle Seahawks.  I sent along a few hotpads made from that fabric too.  Weird how things like that happen.  

Oh, there are so many memories in scraps!
I quilted it on my DSM with straight lines. You would think that would be easy, wouldn't you? Well, it wasn't. I rarely rip out anything but I had to rip out my first few vertical lines of quilting.  I think the problem was that I was sewing lines on the bias AND I pieced my batting and used a LOT of pieces. When I started the quilting I started at the right side with my vertical lines and those are the ones I ripped out. After that I started my lines in the middle of the quilt and worked out toward the sides. Then all went well, thank goodness. I wouldn't want to quilt in too many cuss words. (Cussing once in awhile when everyone is out of earshot is my only vice, don't you know!)
The binding was made of a variety of dark blue scraps too. 

The backing came from the clearance bin at Hobby Lobby last year when I bought most everything they had suitable for quilt backs at $3.99 per yard. I have lots of tops waiting to become quilts!

And on to the next!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Clowder Puff

Clowder Puff
44 x 58

I started making the cat blocks in December 2018 as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project. I used a cat pattern I saw online but that link is now broken.  The blocks finish at 5 x 9. 
I used scrap chunks in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) color of the month and also used a variety of gray scraps for the backgrounds. 
I thought it would make a nice donation quilt. 
The backing is also gray with colorful triangles. The quilt is a weird width so I had to piece it and I had almost but not quite enough backing fabric. So I added in a small piece of solid gray.  I used a gray with black flowers for the binding. 

I quilted some really big free motion flowers. 

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Still in the Pink

Pink is still the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month and I'm still using up some pink scraps. This week I made Wishing Rings that finish at 3.5 inches. Wishing Rings with dark and light corners will alternate in the finished quilt.  This is my second year of making them so I hope by year end I have enough of them for a nice big quilt. 
This is also year two for Double X Mosaic and Snowballs that are inspired by a vintage quilt.  These blocks finish at 4 inches and I also hope to have enough for a nice big quilt by year end. 

(These may look a little crooked. I didn't iron these because I won't know which way to iron the seams until I start sewing blocks together.)

I was showing symptoms of PSP20 awhile ago but I didn't think I had many solids I could use. I rooted around and found some solid scraps and don't you know shortly after that I tested positive for PSP20. 

I used the solids in the RSC colors that have already been called and keep a little pile near the sewing machine to sew together in between other blocks.  I had the print postage stamps already cut. And now I'm in the process of completely clearing out my 1.5 inch width of scraps bin. 

Then since my scraps keep getting smaller and smaller I started another new postage stamp block - Double Irish Chain. For this one I will use light brown backgrounds and dark browns for the center of the chain in between postage stamps in the color of the month.  I found a chart that came in handy when I was planning my blocks so I didn't have to think much.  I did use strips instead of squares for the light brown sections. 

And then another new project started is a six inch finished Buckeye Beauty block. I have a bunch of shirt scraps to use up so I'll be making these from shirt scraps and scraps in the RSC color of the month. 

I was inspired by this vintage quilt. I saved a photo in my "vintage inspiration" folder but didn't bookmark where I found it. 

Edited after original post:
Inspiration quilt is not vintage. 
A kind blog reader pointed out that the quilt can be found at one of my fav blogs Fret Not Yourself.  Thank you, kind blog reader, for letting me know Ann was my inspiration.  I searched and searched but I think I always had "vintage" as part of my search string. 

The rest of the pinks are in the flower garden so if you don't want to take a hike through some pink flowers the deer have left me then you may quietly leave now. 

This is not too spectacular. It is Silene or Catchfly. It is low growing so I have it near a path. It is called Catchfly because it has sticky stems that supposedly trap flies or other insects.  I don't look closely enough to see if that is true. 

I started a bunch of different colors of Yarrow (or Achillea) several years ago from seed.  Before our pasture turned into a wooded area I used to find white ones growing wild. I like to use these as cut flowers but have also dried them and used them when I've made dried flower wreaths.  I have several patches of these in the flower garden. 
I love that the big flower head consists of lots of little flowers. 

Look what I found before the deer found them!! This rose bush needed some weeding and had some wild Trumpet Vine and Dutchman's Pipe growing up through it and had some spent Iris clumps in front and a clump of Alliums around it so maybe the deer didn't notice I had a rose bush there. 
The Pinks are still blooming in the fairy garden as well as miniature Lilies and Scabiosa or Pincushion flower.  Hmmmm...purple, pink, red, yellow color scheme for a quilt???

Seven Sisters roses. The Deer must not like these roses or the Irish Spring soap shavings I sprinkled around the base of the trellis may have kept them away.  This bush is a bit unruly but I have it contained to a small heart shaped trellis in the fairy garden.  I've had it for a long time. I received a cutting from my husband's Aunt Essie and I think she said she had received her cutting from her mother, my husband's grandmother.   I really need to take more cuttings because this would make a beautiful rambling rose hedge.  I believe it is called Seven Sisters because it supposedly grows in clusters of seven flowers but I usually have more than that. 

Most of my Echinacea (or Coneflowers) that I started from seeds are purple but this scraggly looking one is pink.  This is the first year for this one. My husband surprised me with it as well as a white one.  The Goldfinch love my Coneflowers and I've seen them sit on the dried flower heads and pull out the seeds to eat. It's quite a site but they never stay long enough for me to get a picture. 
I started Saponaria or Soapwort from seed over 30 years ago and now it is very invasive and I'm constantly pulling it out of some of the places it gets into. But my flower gardens are more cottage style and informal so I do let patches of it grow here and there to keep down weeds.  It is called Soapwort because flowers, leaves and roots can be used to make a gentle soap or shampoo. I've actually made the soap several times. When the kids and grandkids were younger I thought it would be a fun plant for experiments. It's nice to know that if soap becomes scarce I have some in my flower garden. 
Pink Clematis

The Daylilies are starting to bloom and the first bloom is pink!  The deer and rabbits munch the daylily shoots to the ground when they first start poking up in the Spring but the Daylilies never seem to mind. Hopefully the critters will leave the buds alone. 

Friday, June 19, 2020


It's a finish!
64 x 72

I quilted it on my DSM. First I did straight line stitching in green down the length of all the stems.  Then I switched to a neutral thread and free motion quilted flowers and leaves in the background. I left the sprout leaves without quilting so they stand out from the background somewhat. 
The binding is also scrappy. 
Lots of scraps were used in this one! 

I thought the backing fabric looked like a garden of pink sprouts. 
From far away you can see the impression of sprouts in the backing. 

This is now in the stack of hugs to be given as needed.  

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Two Tops

Two new tops.

I was lucky to get these done. Normally this time of year I go out to work in the garden most of the morning and if I'm not too tired then after lunch I go into the sewing room for awhile. We had a lot of hot days so I never made it into the sewing room but instead enjoyed a book and glass of iced tea on the deck.  (I just finished reading and enjoyed a nonfiction --The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan in case you are interested).  Anway, we have had a few unseasonably cool days recently so I was not too worn out after gardening to spend the whole afternoon in the sewing room to finish these tops. 

This is the first and came mostly from a clean up of stuff on my cutting mat and table that I blogged about in May.  As I previously mentioned I found the inspiration at Cluck Cluck Sew but I didn't use fat quarters or quarter yards. I just used scraps. In addition I did not use the 8.5 inch squares because I didn't have any handy to use. Instead I added in a four patch block made from 4.5 inch squares. 
I kind of had my own recipe to follow when I made the blocks. I made the Sixteen Patch and Rail Fences of primary colors and an equal number were made of secondary colors. The Four Patch and Happy Blocks were made of a color and its complement or itself. 
Of the two tops I think this is the one I like the best. 

The second top was made from scraps left over from making Whirlwind plus scraps from the 4.5 and 2.5 inch scrap bins in purple, yellow, aqua and gray. 
For this one I did have some 8.5 inch square scraps to use so I made fewer of the Sixteen Patches and Four Patches. 
Both will probably be donated locally when finished someday. 

I have a lot of orphan Happy Blocks in a variety of themes so I may adapt this idea to use up those Happy Blocks. I see maybe some crumb blocks or string blocks added in  or different sized blocks or...

For now it is back to warmer weather.