Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Are We There Yet?


Are we there yet? No, not quite. 
I made 12 Carpenter Star blocks (also called Carpenter's Wheel, Dutch Rose or Double Star) that finish at 16 inches. I made the HSTs out of a bag of '30s reproduction fabric scraps. 

Right now the top measures 48 x 64. I rarely add borders to quilts but I always intended for this quilt to have borders. I just did not plan the borders and I'm still thinking about that. 

I'm also wondering if I should have added sashing between the Carpenter Stars. I don't like to rip thigs apart once they are together so I don't think at this point I will rip and add sashing but I'm still wondering and thinking. 

Are we there yet?
No. But we are a little closer to our destination. 

Any suggestions on a route to the border?

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Oh Happy Day!

I belong to an online Stashbuster group where we are always encouraged and sometimes challenged to use our stash. One of the monthly challenges is called a "Precut Challenge" -- use precuts or shapes to bust that stash or scraps.  I don't buy precuts so I rarely participate in that challenge; however, the new year is ringing in different "Precut Challenges". The January challenge is to use charms and jelly rolls to make Happy Blocks. Well, I won't be using charms and jelly rolls but I have dug out some incomplete Happy Block sets from my Happy Place and I will challenge myself to make them complete block sets and maybe, just maybe, move those block sets into a top. 

The reason I have incomplete sets is because I used to swap them or if I had leftover scraps (usually 2.5 inch)  I would grab some novelty squares and frame them - turn them into Happy Blocks. Then I would just throw them into a box I call my Happy Place. I rarely make the same quilt twice but Happy Block Quilts are an exception. I've made aa lot of them. Most of them went to my grandkids and their generation of cousins. Some larger ones have been gifted or donated.  Then I kind of got tired of them. 

1. Happy Hearts - these are made with 4.5 centers and 2.5 inch sides for an 8 inch finished block. I have 15 blocks and 4 that I want to rip apart and use a different fabric for frames. The blocks came from a swap where everyone sent centers to their group and then everyone framed everyone else's centers and sent them back. Plus everyone got to keep one of the center squares from each person in the group. Center squares then came back as Happy Blocks with quite a variety of fabrics. It was always fun to get the mail back in those days when postage was a lot cheaper so I could swap a lot. 
So anyway...I'd like to have 63 of these for a quilt with blocks set 7 x 9.  I had 31 centers with the blocks so I need to find 13 more centers and lots of red and white frames to complete this block set. 

2. Sweet! - these blocks are from a swap like the Happy Hearts one. I made a Sweet Happy Block quilt a long time ago and I think these blocks were leftover. These also have 4.5 inch centers and 2.5 inch sides and finish at 8 inches. I have 32 blocks and my target is 63. 

3. I Spy  - These blocks were swapped with an online I Spy group a long time ago. They have 4 inch centers and 1.75 inch sides for a 6 inch (finished) block. I have 30 blocks but would like to have 70 for a quilt 42 x 60 (7 x 10 layout).   I have 40 more 4 inch centers ready because I also used to swap I Spy squares in different sizes.  Now I just need to find some Tone on Tones or solids to finish up the frames for this set. 

4. Batik.  These  have 4 inch centers and 2.5 inch sides for a 7.5 finished block. I have 8 blocks and I think they are swapped blocks left over after I made a Happy Block quilt with the swapped blocks. I think I would like 80 blocks. With a layout of 8 x 10 that will make a 60 x 75 quilt. I have enough centers with those leftover blocks to equal 52 blocks. So I need to find a few centers and see if I have enough batik fabric for the frames. If not then I will put the 8 blocks into the orphanage with the other orphan blocks. 

So, in January I hope to move 4 Happy UFOs forward! 


Monday, December 27, 2021

When I Have Brown Scraps I Make "Brownies"


I started making some Jacob's Ladder blocks as well as Double Four Patch blocks. 

Now that I'm finished with my Jack's Chain quilt I'm left with a small box of 5.5 inch short strips of scraps in creams to light browns. I figured if I further cut those scraps into 3.5 and 2 inch pieces I could use them in a couple of different blocks. That's how I decided upon the Jacob's Ladder and the Double Four Patch blocks. 

I also have a giant bag of bags of brown scraps in all shapes and sizes. So these scraps will also be used in the Jacob's Ladder and Double Four Patch. 

I have also been trying to empty my 1.5 inch scrap bin and what is mostly left in there are brown. I've used the 1.5 inch scraps in other colors throughout the years in Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects but  lot of times I do not include brown. So...I'm already making 18 patches in all colors of the rainbow for a quilt and now I think I probably have enough brown scraps in there to make a small quilt with just brown and creams 1.5 x 2.5 pieces. I call these blocks Small Change.   

I also need to clean up this little pile of brown irregular shaped pieces that a lady gave to me last March after she made a LOT of masks. 

The last few months I've kind of declared a theme for myself in order to move UFOs forward and to use scraps and yardage. September was only for quilting; October  I used strings; November I used Nine Patches that had accumulated in the Parts Department; December I used rose print yardage and finished a few UFOs of roses.  So I think in January I will Make Brownies (brown blocks) - and use the above mentioned brown scraps plus I've dug up a few brown UFOs I will try to move forward. I may even have a brown UFO I can quilt.   I love earth tones. I love brownies. 

Friday, December 24, 2021

Last Finish of 2021: Jack's Chain

It's a finish!
Jack's Chain
82 x 86

Most of the little 3 inch (finished) Nine Patches were from swaps.  I used ones with dark corners. 

I used muslin for the connecting triangles and a variety of neutrals for the hexagons. 

It is big stitch hand quilted with perle ecru #12. 

 I think I bought this yardage deeply discounted back in 2016 when Hancock's went out of business.  There was just enough for a pieced backing so I guess it was meant to be. 

This is my second Jack's Chain quilt and it looks very different from the first. I finished my first one back in 2016. It is a little smaller and also was hand quilted. It has been in the hope chest since it was finished - a future wedding gift quilt for grandson who is now only 12. I like to plan ahead!!! 


Thursday, December 23, 2021

Roses in December: Hexagons

I've about finished working with roses this month; however, I do have a few longer term projects that will use my rose prints that will carry over into the new year. 

I have some darker colored rose print scraps in browns and greens that I will be using in:

...a hexagon quilt. This one is called "Sunshine Box Quilt" from Scrappy Firework Quilts by Edyta Sitar. 

I'll use these smaller rose prints for the triangles between the hexagons. 

I'm thinking that along with the brown and green earth tones I'll add in a few hexies made from orange and darker red scraps too. 

I've already started cutting hexies from the smaller scraps. 

I cut a few by hand each day. I'm not good at rotary cutting odd shapes.

Some scraps are too small for a hexie so they go into another scrap pile and the cutting also leaves a few crumbs so I might make a few crumb hexies. For a 52.5 x 65.5 quilt I need 188 hexies.  I might make my quilt a little larger since these hexagons look easy to piece by machine and I think I have more than enough scraps for 188+ hexies.   

There's no rush. 


Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Roses in December: A Finish!

It's a finish!
60 x 72

Back in November 2020 I was looking through my rose colored glasses  scraps and decided I needed to do something with them. I divided them into a bin of pastel scraps and darker scraps.   I first decided to work with the pastel scraps and made a variety of six inch blocks trying to use the scraps to their best advantage with little or no further cutting. 

And this week the top was quilted. I'm not good at stitching in the ditch so I stitched on both sides of the seams both vertically and horizontally. I wanted just a minimum of stitching. 

After that I remembered that the batting should be quilted at 2-4 inches so I tied the quilt in the center of each block with variegated pink/white/blue crochet cotton #10.  Then everything seemed just right. 

I had just enough of the backing fabric to use for the binding. 

And this is the back.


Sunday, December 19, 2021

Roses in December: Kawandi

I've been working with my collection of rose prints this month. I made several tops and now have some scraps to use.  One of the things I'm making with scraps is a Kawandi style of quilt. 

I started with mostly pastel scraps in all shapes and sizes. 

I'm also using a damask tablecloth I picked up a long time ago from the thrift store for 45 cents marked down from 90 cents.  The price tag was still stapled to it. This tablecloth forms the foundation of the quilt and will also end up as the backing.  It's about 50 x 68. 

I have this big print of roses I will put into the center of the Kawandi. 

And I have some other small pieces of that same print that will go around in some places of the Kawandi. I am not using batting so it will be a coverlet and not a quilt. 

I'm not using a hoop because I would have to move it all the time as I work around the Kawandi. I'm using a long sashiko needle and perle #12 in white for the stitching. I don't think I have enough of that thread so may switch to another color as I move along. 

Two of the sides of the tablecloth had a rolled hem so I just butted the fabric up against the hem rather than cut it off. I am considering adding crocheted lace to the top and bottom edges that have that rolled hem but we shall see how I feel about that later on. 

As far as the fabric patches...I'm not really doing any planning as to what fabrics go where. I'm kind of just grabbing and stitching -- a cottage garden of roses. 

I have pinned the big print piece I planned for the center to the tablecloth so I know how far in to build my patchwork.  So far I am really enjoying the process. I think this will make a lovely lap quilt. 


Saturday, December 18, 2021

Jots, Iotas, Smidgens and Whits

Jots, iotas, smidgens, whits, crumbs and matter what you call them they are itty bits of fabric. I want to concentrate on using them this year. I have some sorted by color; some sorted into cool and warm, black and white. Some are not sorted.   The ones that are sorted by color I hope to use in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month to make a few blocks. 

What I call crumbs are very small and usually irregular shaped scraps. I use those in some type of crumb block. The ones that are a little bigger and with straight edges are also crumbs but I use those in some sort of slab block. 

For crumb blocks I tried out some flower blocks that finish at 8 inches. I think I will continue with these next year. I used an old Block Lotto pattern called Violets to make the blocks. 

By the end of 2022 I hope to have a colorful garden of flowers. 

I'm thinking I make a couple more blocks with 4.5 inch crumb squares but have not finalized plans. More on that later. 

In 2020 I made a couple 12 inch Hourglass blocks from crumbs and a solid in a complementary color. I was going to make a lot more for a donation quilt but didn't have many solids so I could continue on. I think I may have a few solids or tone on tones to use now so hope to make more of these in 2022. And I hope I can find where I put these two. 

And I mentioned slabs earlier in this post. In 2019 I finished a slab quilt with heart I called Heartfelt. Now I think I will make another in 2022. 

In November I blogged about some of my other Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) plans for 2022.  Now I will add the above to the list. 


Friday, December 17, 2021

A New Top! Peacock Feathers

It's a top!
Peacock Feathers
60 x 80

It's made of long skinny tumblers (or champagne flutes?) of peacock fabrics and solids cut with a Dresden ruler. 

Actually, this is made of scraps left over from making a quilt top back in July 2017 called Peacock Fans that is still after all these years in the to-be-quilted pile. 

After that top was finished I sewed up the extra Dresden fan blades into a "Before-I-Forget" strip in September 2017.   Then what did I do? Immediately forgot about it until December 2020. 

In December 2020 I assessed the UFO and decided that I would cut more tumblers/champagne flutes.

This month I sewed the pieces together as a sort of leader/ender project while making all my "Roses in December" quilt tops.  I sewed them together randomly (mindless, no-thinking sewing) into pairs then fours then eights and so on. There are 66 pieces in a row and 15 rows.  

Another UFO moved forward to the to-be-quilted pile!