Saturday, December 26, 2020

The Empty Box

I wanted to completely empty my 2.5 inch width scrap box before year end. Mission accomplished!  I've had this box full of actual scraps for years even though every year I picked two or three Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) projects to make that used 2.5 inch scraps. 

I made some nine patches with any pieces long enough to cut 5  2.5 inch squares.  I ended up with 149 nine patches and if I use 120 of them to make a quilt I will have 29 blocks left for my Parts Department.  Moving forward whenever I have 2.5 inch scraps left over instead of throwing them into a box I am going to make nine patches, if possible, for the Parts Department. 

For a couple of years I've been sewing anything less than a square into strips. Since I emptied my 3.5, 4.5 and now my 2.5 inch scrap bins and boxes I have quite a few strips - probably enough for a couple of Chinese Coins quilts. Moving forward whenever I have pieces less than a square of any size left over I will sew them into strips with fabrics of all colors instead of keeping the colors separate. 

I have 1230 2.5 x 3.5 rectangles that have resulted from cleaning out the 3.5 and 2.5 inch scrap bins. I am going to make a little larger of a quilt at Blue Elephant Stitches that will use approximately 800 rectangles.  That will leave me with about half of the rectangles needed for a second quilt so moving forward when I have scraps left over from a project that I can cut into a 2.5 x 3.5 rectangle I will keep cutting rectangles until I have enough for a second quilt. 

I cut 852  2.5 inch squares toward my goal of 1008 for a Jack and Jill quilt.  After I meet that goal I will continue to cut squares from left over scraps to be used in who knows what in the future. 

 The empty box. 

Friday, December 25, 2020

The Stars Are Brightly Shining





I wanted to finish 25 Sugar Loaf Stars by year end. Mission accomplished. 

Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 24, 2020

A Fine and Dandy '30s Thursday

Fine and Dandy
51 x 63
It's a flimsy!

You may or may not know that for awhile now I have been trying to move forward a lot of '30s reproduction fabric scraps and UFOs.   The center blocks are called The Dandy Quilt  and the pattern may be found at Quilter's Cache.  I participated in a swap of these in 2009 and finished a Queen sized quilt made of them in 2010.  I'm thinking these orphans have been around since 2009. I'm thinking they may not have passed my quality control standards for swapping so I just kept them.  Or maybe they were just extras I had after I finished my quilt. I know I made all of these. 

Then I changed my mind from last week when I said I was going to use my 3.5 inch '30s reproduction fabrics to make Snowballs to go with my little nine patches. Instead I used those 3.5 inch scraps to make 60 Flying Geese for a border all around. 

 I had to add a coping strip and I just happened to have a few bits and pieces of 2 inch scraps left over from making that Basket and Hollow Nines top. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Oh Peacock Feathers!

Some members of the Stashbusters group have decided they are going to make some Tumbler quilts in 2021. It's always fun to join in the fun and see the variety of quilts that are made. So joining the fun helped me decide which one of my UFOs to work on next...these unconventional Tumblers I called Peacock Feathers.  Back in September 2017 I blogged about what I did with some leftover Dresden Fan blades  a.k.a Tumblers a.k.a Peacock Feathers-- I sewed them together into a big long strip that measured 13 x 88.  After that I threw the strip, the leftover blades and extra fabric into a plastic bag and then threw the bag into a UFO bin. 

The fan blades were leftover from a top I finished back in July 2017 that is still in the hand quilting queue. I was never in a hurry to finish it because after I made the top I wasn't sure I really liked it all that much but now that I look at it again I am not sure why I didn't like it. 

Ok. So back to those fan blades a.k.a Tumblers... I dug out the bag and mulled over what to do with that big long strip; how to move this UFO forward.

I've decided to shorten that strip of three rows and take off nine Tumblers a.k.a. Fan Blades a.k.a Peacock Feathers at the end of each row. That would be about this section shown here.  That will make the strip about 80 inches long. This will be the length of the quilt and the Tumblers a.k.a. Fan Blades a.k.a. Peacock Feathers will lay sideways and look more like a Chinese Coins type of quilt. Then I will add 12 more columns of Peacock Feathers so the quilt will end up approximately 60 x 80. 

So that means I need over 700 more Peacock Feathers a.k.a. Tumblers a.k.a Fan Blades. That pile on the right is a pile of Peacock Feathers that was in the plastic bag along with some fabric cut to size. I guess I had better find my ruler and get cutting. 


Monday, December 21, 2020

It's a Finish! Rose Petals

Rose Petals
68 x 82
It's a finish!

Since last blog post I've woven in all the loose thread ends and...

...crocheted a dark pink edging all around. 
All of the crochet was done with odds and ends of #10 crochet cotton in shades of pink and a #7 crochet hook. 

The coverlet consists of 286  4.5 inch rose themed scraps sewn right sides together and turned right side out. So that makes 143 reversible squares. 

 Since the squares are reversible it was difficult to avoid some of the same squares next to each other on the back side. And I'm okay with that. I love how this turned out. 

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Sugar Loaf Stars

Sugar Loaf Star #19

Sugar Loaf Star #20

Sugar Loaf Star #21

Goal is 25 stars for a quilt designed by Pam Buda called Flashes of Brilliance found in the October 2015 edition of American Patchwork and Quilting. I'm hoping I can finish the last four blocks by year end. 


Saturday, December 19, 2020


I made a couple of blocks before I forget this is a new Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) project I want to make. 

My layout of colors will be more mixed up than the pattern. 

I thought it would be a good way to use up some 5 inch tone on tone (TOT) squares as I go through my scraps each month. Plus someone gifted me a layer cake of TOTs a few years ago and I can cut those squares into five inch squares to use. I also have lots of black on white scraps I can use. 

And just as an FYI - this is where a lot of my skinny strings I've been working with lately come from.  The end of the b/w floral is rather wonky and less than 1. 5 inches and greater than an inch so it goes into the string box under the table. The polka dot end had 1.5 inches left so it used to go into the 1.5 inch scrap bin that I have almost emptied. I just decide what to do with 1.5 inch long scraps moving forward. I'll probably make little three inch nine patches or rails or something but for now I cut the 1.5 inch polka dot piece into squares because I have a few projects to finish up that use low volume 1.5 inch squares (postage stamps). 

I'm still working on cleaning out my 2.5 inch scrap bin and worked on blues this week.  I made a lot of nine patches. 

I had a lot of light blue long pieces so I made a binding with those. Then I have been cutting 2.5 x 3.5 pieces for a quilt like at Blue Elephant Stitches.  I'm going to make mine a little bigger so figured I needed about 800 rectangles. With these blue rectangles I exceeded that goal so looks like I'm cutting for a second one now.  I've also been cutting 2. 5 inch squares for a Jack and Jill quilt like at Klein Meisje Quilts.   Anything less than a 2.5 inch square and greater than an inch gets sewn into coin strips. That's what is in that baggie that have not been sewn together yet.  

Then for the dark blue TOTs I cut some 2.5 x 4.5 rectangles. For what? Well, I looked around and could find no background fabric of any length to use for my Jack and Jill quilt. But last month when I was working on reducing my blue scraps by making Economy Blocks it dawned on me that I probably have enough bits and pieces of dark blue tots to use as the background for Jack and Jill. 

So as I went through my blue scraps I threw pieces of dark blue TOTs into my Jack and Jill bin and will start cutting those background rectangles. With the clean out of my 2.5 inch scrap bin I do now have 757 out of 1005 squares cut. 

Every day I piece a little, cut a little, iron a little and repeat. 


Friday, December 18, 2020

Churning Out Churn Dashes

Two Churn Dash Tops
Each is 40.5 x 63

The Churn Dash blocks are large - they finish at 13.5 inches. 

They were made from quite a wide variety of scrap chunks 5 inches wide or so.  

In order to make them at least 60 inches long I added a border to the top and bottom made from 2 inch strips. One of the places I send donation quilts likes quilts approximately 40 x 60. 

 My December OMG (One Monthly Goal) was to complete at least one top from a large box of complete block sets.   These are tops #2 and #3.  Top #1 has already been finished and donated. 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

'30s Thursday

I found a baggie of 3 inch (finished) nine patches in '30s reproduction fabrics. Some of them were from a long ago swap. There were 235 of them. Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned I still had some 3.5 inch scraps left after making Economy Blocks from scraps? (If you don't remember it was the last sentence of my Nov. 19 '30s Thursday post). Well, I will now cut those into 3.5 inch squares and make some Snowballs to go with my little nine patches. 

I figured if I used 225 Nine Patches and alternated with 225 Snowballs I could set them 18 x 25 for a quilt 54" x 75". 

So I'll keep some 3.5 inch squares and some 1.5 inch muslin squares cut and near the sewing machine and sew and make a few Snowballs here and there in between other piecing. 

 I keep a notebook near my sewing machine and one near my computer. All kinds of things get jotted down here and there in my doodle books.  This page is full of secret code for UFOs I have found that use '30s reproduction fabrics and what I might do with them. I've been trying to work on something in '30s fabrics every week and blog about it on Thursdays in order to keep focused on moving these UFOs forward. 

One of the UFOs involves embroidery. I think it was two years ago that I used some 3 inch scraps left over from a Triangle Squares quilt to make these blocks with 8 inch muslin centers.  I then used vintage embroidery transfers of whatever suited my fancy and embroidered the centers. 

I have 8 blocks that have the embroidery finished, one block in the hoop almost finished and one that has been stamped for embroidery. I was thinking this would be a nice summer project - handwork for when it is too hot to hand quilt- but I never got around to doing any embroidery last summer. 

I had a baggie of those 3 inch scraps and some muslin in the project box so went ahead and made 10 more blocks and I'll stamp them later. I was originally thinking I would make 30 blocks for a quilt 62'' x 75" but the scraps and muslin only made 10 blocks for a total of 20 blocks. That will make a quilt 50 x 62.5 and that's okay with me.   So,  now you may not see this '30s project again until summer when I start stamping and embroidering. 


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Skinny Strings

My string boxes are overflowing so I decided I had better work on some string quilts.  I sorted out the skinniest colored strings and left the fatter strings and low volume strings for some other quilts.  To start with I will work on 3  different colored skinny string quilts. 

These blocks are inspired by blocks I saw on Flickr a long time ago.   I like how the blocks are divided into hot and cold sections and how the gray is used.  But I went a different route. 

Then I sorted out all the black multicolor strings and dug through a drawer of 6.5 inch squares and came up with a "Let's Party" theme for the center squares. I'm making all my string blocks 6.5 inch square with black strings on the diagonal and on the outside of the blocks.  These blocks will finish at 18 inches so I only need 12 blocks total in a 3x4 layout that will measure 54 x 72. 

These are the 6.5 inch squares I'll use as the centers for Let's Party.  After I finish the blocks for this one I'm thinking I may make another one with a different theme. 

These are really really really really old string blocks. It's about time I make more and get a quilt made with them.  I used a tutorial from The Long Thread to make these Crossed Quilt blocks that finish at 9.5 inches. I have 10 old blocks and will aim for a twin sized quilt. 

Then with some really short skinny strings I made some scrappy string blocks like I saw at Den Syende Himmel.  As I make the other two skinny string quilt blocks I'll accumulate the shorter strings to use in these blocks. 

I've been cutting an eclectic mix of mostly floral 5 inch scraps to use as the backgrounds. 

I will not use sashing in the quilt. Somewhere along the line I think I figured out I need 252 five inch squares for the size of quilt I have in mind. 

 I've been using some black waste triangles for what will be the centers of all these string blocks.