Sunday, August 30, 2020

Animal Crackers

It's a new top!
Animal Crackers
42 x 54

I used animal themed fabrics and solids to make six inch (finished) H blocks. 

 While I had the fabrics out and was cutting 2.5 inch strips I cut extra strips for use in a different block.  You will have to wait to see what that one is. Now that it's cooler again I will be out in the garden more often and I'm now the learning coach for my granddaughter who opted for online learning. That was a good choice for her because she can use the one on one time and she can avoid all the drama that seems to surround her at school. I have the time so volunteered to help out. 

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Purple 2.5 Inch Scrap Edition

This week I dug into my 2.5 inch width scrap bin and dug out my purples. 
I made five 8" (finished) Dakota Farmer Stars. 

And I made six 6" (finished) Hourglass blocks.  I won over 20 of these in a Block Lotto so decided to make enough blocks for a twin sized donation quilt. I think I will set these on point and then you might see why they are called Hourglass. 

Looking forward to a new Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) color for September. Will it be red or yellow? 


Thursday, August 27, 2020

It's a Flimsy! Last Hurrah

The Last Hurrah
It's a flimsy!
60 x 80

I blogged back in July about making these blocks -- the last quilt to come out of a 4.5 inch scrap bin I've had for a very long time and have been trying to empty. Many scrappy quilts have come out of that bin. 

The pieces are cut 2.5 x 4.5 and I made 60 blocks in a Light/Dark/Light/Dark/Light configuration and 60 blocks in a Dark/Light/Dark/Light/Dark configuration. I alternated blocks in the layout 6 x 20. 

And that's the last quilt from the 4.5 inch scrap bin. The Last Hurrah! The bin is empty. Mission accomplished. 

I previously blogged that the few remaining remnants in the 4.5 inch scrap bin were cut into squares and anything less than a square was sewn into a strip by color. Those strips now join others in various widths in a box. I've been making these strips for a couple of years now so at year end I think I'll let these strips out to play. 


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Wednesday Wandering

Wednesday is for straying off the quilty path and on to the garden path. 
A fairy is doing a good job of guarding the Agastache this year. Last year it disappeared. 

Japanese Anemone are in bloom. 

Mexican Sunflower or Tithonia is finally in bloom. Usually it is like a bush by now and covered with butterflies. This year it was so slow growing. It is an annual that I start from seeds saved from year to year. Well, as soon as it bloomed the aphids took up residence. 

About twenty years ago I planted Morning Glories along a trellis (now mostly missing because a tree fell and took out part of it last year).  I think the variety was called Grandpa Ott. Now they grow wild. I don't even have to save the seeds from them and plant them. I do have to tear them out of the rest of the garden where I don't want the volunteers. 

Four O'clocks. I grow these annuals from saved seeds too. They supposedly open around four o''clock. Well, I found out last year that they are temperature sensitive and not light sensitive like I originally thought. I thought I had no blooms last year but they were blooming in the middle of the night when it got cooler. 

I grow a lot of zinnias.

Butterflies love Zinnias. 

This is another type of Morning Glory that grows wild but I never see very many of this variety. 

Time for garlic chives to bloom. I have a little border of them and I thought they would keep away rabbit and deer. So much for thinking. But chives are good in herb bread, on baked potatoes (potatoes from the garden, of course) or in homemade crackers. I freeze them to use in crackers we make in the winter to go with our homemade soups. 

I planted a Hazlenut bush about thirty years ago and have never really harvested them. They are a lot of work to shell for such a small nut.  I'm not really fond of them. I did make some good shortbread type cookies from them one time. 

The grapes are about ripe. Usually the deer have eaten them all by now. Maybe some of our tactics to scare away deer are working. We used to make wine and jam. We don't drink much of anything these days so no sense in making wine anymore. And I made enough jam a few years ago to last me and the family a lifetime. So I never really cared if the deer ate the grapes. But I think I will give my sister-in-law a call to see if she wants to come pick them. 

This is horseradish in my herb garden. I always heard that you only harvest horseradish in a month that has an R in it. So next month I will probably dig and make horseradish. My eyes are watering just thinking about it. 

We've been harvesting and using the basil. This time of year I usually start drying it. I'll also take a couple of cuttings for an indoor plant for the winter. 

Culinary sage. I don't use much of it these days. I love it with chicken. I'll dry some of it for the Turkey dressing on Thanksgiving. 

Thyme. I have three varieties. I use fresh and dry for winter use. It's also good in homemade crackers and in soups. 

I grow cilantro too. This time of year it is an essential ingredient in fresh salsa made with our own tomatoes, peppers and onions.  This is a slow bolting variety. You probably know that cilantro seeds are called coriander. I don't use coriander so don't really like my cilantro to go to seed and that is why I really like the slow bolting variety of this annual. 

Another wild thing is Datura. I threw some seeds from an old plant in the veggie garden long ago and ever since I've had Datura volunteers.  The blooms open in the evening and stay open until early morning. They glow in the moonlight.  This one grows in the garden path next to my strawberry bed. 

Oh, another watermelon is almost ripe. This one is called Yellow Doll. I'm anxious to try it since I've never tasted yellow watermelon. 

The Butternut squash are finally ripening. 

The Delicata squash are ripening too. They sure have been slow growing this year. But at least the vines have not died back because of cucumber beetles or wilt. 

We've been harvesting lots of varieties of tomatoes. 

And we've been eating and freeing wax beans and zucchini. We like grilled zucchini. 

This is an Emerald Gem cantaloupe I grew from saved seeds. 

Yummy. It was a good treat on a hot summer day!


Tuesday, August 25, 2020


I really want to be outside working but it's been a little too warm outside the last couple of days and will continue for a few more. I've been clearing an area overrun with brambles and weeds because I want to prepare that area for planting wildflowers. 

So since it's even hot inside without air conditioning I've been standing in front of a fan at my cutting table and I've been cutting, cutting, cutting. 

One of the things I've been working on is a throw I've been calling Rose Petals. It started out as a project to use some 4.5 inch rose themed scraps as well as a variety of different pink #10 crochet cottons. I've been cutting a few squares at a time to work on and after those are finished with crochet trim I cut more. I wasn't sure how many squares I would actually get out of the scraps that were already cut at 4.5 inches.  When I last counted finished squares I had 87 "blocks".  So I cut more squares enough for 120 "blocks" total. I figured that would give a nice throw 10 x 12. Finished blocks are about five inches with the trim and I planned to add a crocheted border all around.  When I finished cutting all of those squares for 120 "blocks" I still had a lot of 4.5 inch scraps left. So, I cut enough for a layout 11 x 13 which equals 142 "blocks".   I now have everything cut and two squares sewn right sides together with a space left for turning right side out. 

Next step is to turn them right side out and sew the turning hole shut. Then I blanket stitch around the edges 16 stitches to a side and three in each corner. Then I crochet shell stitch trim all the way around. 

Now the problem is that I don't think I'll have enough crochet cotton.  I have to decide if I want to buy more or maybe use some white I have on hand. But I'm not even sure there's enough of that. 
I work on this project a little each evening. I think we will be at a family reunion camp out the week of September 7 so this will be a nice take along project.  

That little stack there is what is left of the 4.5 inch rose themed scraps. I was going to cut what was left into squares and add to my squares box but decided instead to throw them in with all of the rest of the rose themed scraps. I was thinking I'll make some simple nine patches. 

I've slowly been making Indian Hatchet blocks from 5 inch scraps left over from my 30s Churn Dash quilt top I finished in May. My goal is 252 blocks. I cut a few squares from the 5 inch scraps and corners to go with each block from 2.5 inch scraps. I keep a little basket of the parts near the sewing machine and use them as "enders" (I don't usually do "leaders") if I need one. I now have 210 blocks. 

I cut enough parts to reach my goal of 252 blocks. I fold diagonally and iron the 2.5 inch flippy corner squares and use the ironed line as my sewing line.  I have not trimmed any corners yet. That's a job for the evening when I watch TV with hubby. 

When I have enough blocks I'll assemble like a top inspired by Ann's (Fret Not Yourself). 

It has been my goal this year to empty my 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3.5 and 4.5 inch width scrap bins. So far I have emptied the 3.5 bin and almost have emptied the 4.5 and 1.5 bins.   I cut 2.5 x 3.5 inch pieces and squares from what was left in the 3.5 inch bin. After I make all my blocks that use 2.5 inch scraps in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month I have also been cutting those scraps into the 2.5 x 3.5 pieces. I was inspired by a scrap quilt at Blue Elephant Stitches but I'll make mine a little bigger so figured I need 800 -2.5 x 3.5 pieces. Look! I'm over half way to my goal.   I do spend about 20 minutes each day going through odd sized unsorted scraps and if I can get a 2.5 x 3.5 pieces out of the scrap then that's what I cut. 

A new Jack and Jill quilt that uses 2.5 inch squares inspired by Lynn (Klein Meisje Quilts) is now in the works. So far I've counted out 100 squares (in the baggie) and I had a few strips of squares already on hand too. Since 1008 squares are needed I have a little cutting to do. 

Oh, look at what is on my cutting mat - 2.5 inch width scraps left over from Indian Hatchet blocks, 2.5 inch scraps from the Animal Crackers H blocks I started yesterday and 2.5 inch scraps left from the Ice Cream quilt (no clever name yet) started yesterday.  They will NOT go into the 2.5 inch scrap bin that I'm trying to empty. And now you know why. 


Monday, August 24, 2020

Before I Forget

I saw a Confetti quilt someone made. I am always on the lookout for patterns for the wide array of novelty fabrics I seem to have collected over the years and never know how to use in anything but my usual Happy Blocks. 

I was in the mood for something new, something easy, something fun, something that would use novelties.  So before I forgot about Confetti I thought I would try a few blocks. with some small critter prints. 

I didn't really didn't like the Confetti blocks all that much after I made a few. And I made the one with the dogs in the lower right incorrectly. 

Confetti is a free pattern from Timeless Treasures. Each block is really is a set of four of the classic H blocks made all in the same fabrics. 

Well, maybe if I just made six inch (finished) H blocks...
So I folded up the sets of four and laid them out to see what that might look like. 
Well, maybe...

So I took apart the dog block that was made incorrectly and made a few more blocks with different prints.  Ok. I think I like that better. So, Animal Crackers is now in the works. 

And I saw Cynthia making Ice Cream blocks awhile ago and I commented back then that I should make some but I never did and then I saw her finished quilt and remembered that I forgot to make some. So before I forgot again I set about making a few test blocks.  Ok. That will do. Then yesterday I had a lot of fun picking out fabrics to use for the ice cream and before I knew it I had 24 scoops of ice cream made. Now I just have to put the scoops in the cones and make some alternate blocks and I'll have a cool quilt. 


Saturday, August 22, 2020

Purple Passion

This week's Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks are all made from 3.5 and 2 inch scraps. Since I emptied my 3.5 inch scrap bin a few months ago I cut the 3.5 inch pieces for these blocks from a scrap chunk and then try to use it all up in various blocks. That is why I decided to make several blocks using 3.5 and 2 inch pieces. 

I started making these Buckeye Beauty blocks a few months ago to use up a box of shirt scraps and some black multi-color scraps.  I'll combine them with scraps in the RSC color of the month. 

I also started making these baskets of flowers a few months ago. The baskets will be in the RSC color of the month and the flowers will be floral 2 inch scraps.

I've already pulled all of the floral prints for the baskets out of the 2 inch scrap bin as part of my effort to empty that bin and I cut a square and two HSTs out of each piece that was long enough. So each month I just need to pick out some flower pieces for each basket. When these run out I'll reach into the scrap chunks for a floral 2 inch scrap. 

This month I started making some X and + blocks using a tutorial found at Badskirt.  I used the tutorial in the past to make a quilt out of cherry themed fabrics and I've always had it in mind to make a scrappy one. Now I don't have to keep that in mind anymore. 

And finally I made some Uneven Nine Patch blocks with 3.5 inch centers and 2 inch sides.  This was another new start this month. 

Now all I have left to deal with for the rest of the month are purples in the 2.5 inch scrap bin.