Sunday, February 28, 2021

And So It Begins

Last month I was trying to decide on a background fabric for an eight pointed star I had made for the center of a medallion.  I finally decided upon a background fabric and it has been applied but not without a struggle.  

For a long time I've had a quilt called Blueberry Farm from the book Scrappy Fireworks Quilts by Edyta Sitar. That quilt consists of several different smaller Lone Star blocks. So I thought I would give one block a try for this center medallion. Arghhhh. It was no problem to make the actual star. The problem came when adding the background to the star pieces. Arghhhh. I tried and retried, tinkered and re-tinkered, read and reread, ripped and re-ripped, cussed and re-cussed but there was no way in heck (wherever that is) that I could get a setting triangle to work with this star. Then I went in search of errata. I searched and re-searched and finally found some corrections at the publisher's website.  Background corners were supposed to be 6 1/4 inch squares and not 6 inch squares and the triangles were supposed to be cut on the diagonals (X) from a 9 1/4 square and not an 8 3/4 square. Arghhh. I was glad that I had just enough of the orange background fabric after I finally made a background choice. 

I usually only buy books or patterns with quilts that inspire me but quilts with templates or more complex directions that I can't figure out for myself. So I expect that the quilts in the books have been tested for accuracy before publication. I really feel sorry for beginning quilters that encounter errors. I was shocked when I saw so many books with corrections on the publisher's page. Several of them dealt with "the basics".  And that was just one publisher. 

Ok. Well, off that rant and back to my Star which has finally been made to my satisfaction...
I was inspired by a vintage (c. 1895) quilt at the Denver Art Museum so decided to make my own version except instead of using HSTs (half square triangles) in the borders I will use QSTs (quarter square triangles). Well, actually, I will use Wonky QSTs made from waste triangles I have saved for years and years. 

For months now I've been sorting through boxes of waste triangles and so there are QSTs in various stages in my sewing room. Some are leader/enders. 

Some are ready for seam twisting and ironing. 

Some are ironed and need to have dog ears trimmed off. (And remember I said these were wonky so they won't be squared up. )

After trimming some are stored in bags...

 ...and some are stored in boxes that used to hold waste triangles. 

And so it goes. 

Saturday, February 27, 2021

For the Parts Department

Over the years I've found the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) has been a fun way to use up scraps of a different color each month. I used to keep my scraps in bins by width and finally last year I emptied the 4.5, 3.5, 2.5 scrap bins. For now I'm keeping the 2 and 1.5 inch bins. previous years of the RSC I would pick a block or blocks to make with scraps from each scrap bin. Now that I've emptied most of my scrap bins I now am working with scrap chunks to make my RSC blocks. I store my scrap chunks by color and define them (roughly) as anything larger or longer  than a 4.5 square and less than a Fat Quarter (FQ). that I'm using scrap chunks I cut off whatever I need to make my RSC blocks. Then I decided I would TRY at the very end of the month to use up whatever is left of the "cut off" after I make my blocks rather than store leftover "cut offs" away anywhere or put them back in with the scrap chunks. 

At the end of the month I've been making a variety of different blocks from those "cut offs" for the Parts Department.   

I've been making Nine Patches from the 2.5 inch leftovers or I've been cutting them into squares or I've been cutting them into 2.5 x 3.5 rectangles or I sew anything less than a square into a strip. 

The 3.5 inch leftovers get made into Four Patches for the Parts Department or into squares or 2.5 x 3.5 rectangles or squares or strips. 

 The 2 inch leftovers also get sewn into Four Patches for the Parts Department or cut into squares. 

Friday, February 26, 2021

A Finish of Economy Blocks

Out of the Blue
Lady Sings the Blues
60 x 72
It's a finish!

I started making these Economy Blocks back in November 2020 in order to use up a lot of blue scraps as well as some blue 3 inch (finished) Nine Patches. 

I finished the top back in January 2021 and if you read that post you can see how I went about assembling it in a sort of "planned random" manner. 

This quilt actually used up more scraps than I thought it would but I do still have some blue scraps left to play with. 

I quilted it with blue thread on my DSM with diagonal, horizontal and vertical lines intersecting in the center of the little nine patches. 

 The binding is a digital print that looks like a blue knit sweater.  And I had just enough of this blue floral print for the back. 

And now it is ready for giving or gifting. 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

A Flimsy of Economy Blocks

It's a top!
Economy Blocks made with '30s reproduction fabric scraps.
60 x 78

 Hope all is well in your world. Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Crossed - A Flimsy

It's now a flimsy!
57 x 76

I believe I started making these 9.5 inch (finished) blocks back in 2011 to use up some strings but can you believe I actually did use up my strings back then and only made 10 blocks? I did. And then I put the blocks away and forgot about them for a long time. 

Well, I definitely had enough strings (and then some) this time to move this old UFO forward. 

And now I see some ways to play with these blocks in different ways. So, since I still have lots of strings left there may be a variation of Crossed in the future. 

I'm glad it finally warmed up so I can go out and take clothesline photos again. For several weeks it was below zero and snow too deep and ground too icy for me to even venture out for anything. But I am thankful that I did have some heat in this old house although sometimes it barely went above 59 degrees. I am thankful I can bundle up in quilts and read a book if need be. And I'm thankful I have a back up sewing machine because my main one has been in the shop since Jan. 21. I finally decided I'm not going to have it fixed anymore because constant repairs are getting too expensive. But again I'm thankful that I have a new and hopefully more heavy duty one on the way. 


Monday, February 22, 2021

Wishing Rings

Wishing Rings 

It's a flimsy! (Or a top, if you prefer)
84 x 91

The block is also called Church Window Hexagon (variation) according to some information about a vintage quilt (c. 1825-1875) in The Quilters Guild collection. 

I started making these from scraps back in January 2019. I made it a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project and made blocks each month from scraps in the color of the month. 

The blocks finish at 3.5 inches. The center is a 2 inch square and the sides and corners are 1.5 inch pieces. 

It took me a couple of years of scraps to accumulate enough blocks (620 of them) for a nice big quilt in a 24 x 26 layout. I alternated light corner blocks and dark corner blocks but other than that I sewed them together randomly. Gosh, what a lot of seams and nesting corners! I thought I would never get it all sewn together and pressed. 

I just love big quilts made with small blocks and lots of scraps. 

 My February OMG (One Monthly Goal) was to finish at least one quilt top. Here is finish #1. 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Feathered Stars Finish

Feathered Stars

It's a finish!
And it is all hand quilted.
80.5 x 97.75

Chickens and Roosters are the Feathered Stars of this quilt. 

You can't really see the hand quilting very well in these photos but you can see some of the hand quilting in the December 2020 post back when I started the quilting. 

There's a feathered wreath in the center of the block...

...and lines in the neutral spaces of the block...

...and there are hand quilted feathers in the sashing. 

I used a lot of big print chicken fabrics that I didn't want to cut into for piecing the backing. 

Now these Feathered Stars can roost with their wilder cousins - Boho Roosters - that I finished back in 2018. 

I still have some poultry fabrics so someday another cousin may join the hen party. 


Saturday, February 20, 2021

We've Got A Runner!

Table Runner
13 x 56

To begin with I knew I wanted to use some yellow and orange floral scraps, knew I wanted a Sunflower and knew I wanted a buffet topper. 

I reviewed several different Herringbone and French Braid tutorial and then figured out my own version.

I used 2.5 x 9.5 strips and 2.5 squares. I meant to put the strips in the same order on each side of the Sunflower but somehow they got out of order and I guess that is okay. 

I made a Dresden Sunflower that would fit into a 9.5 inch square out of a variety of different yellow scraps. I hand quilted the whole thing with some odds and ends of  perle #8. 

And the main reason I'm going to make some smaller quilted items this year is because I have a lot of long but smaller width batting pieces I want to use. By smaller width I mean four inches or less. I meant to take a picture of the batting before I quilted but forgot. I used four long pieces and I used a herringbone stitch to stitch them together along the length which made it all nice for hand quilting. 


Saturday, February 13, 2021

Odds And Ends But Mostly Odds

This is a new project...4 inch (finished) Indian Hatchet blocks.  I had researched this block last year and came across a vintage Indian Hatchet quilt I loved so decided to use my scraps and make some blocks. The centers will be the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month and the corners will be secondary colors if the RSC color is primary and vice versa. So the colors for both pink and yellow ended up to be greens, oranges and purples.  If interested there are cutting instructions for five different sizes of blocks at Generations Quilt patterns.  

I made a few Wonky Shoofly blocks with waste triangles, a Plus Postage block and a PSP20-21 (Postage Stamp Pandemic 2020-2021).  The Plus Postage project is an old one and I only need a few more blocks. I cut the postage stamps in a variety of colors last year when I cleaned out my 1.5 inch scrap bin so will make Plus Postage blocks in the prepped colors when the RSC color comes up. I already have quite a few PSP blocks in yellow solids but came across a solid yellow scrap enough for a block so went ahead and made one. I think I'm aiming for 121 blocks for a big quilt. This old farmhouse gets really cold so I keep three quilts on the bed in winter. 

Three six inch Buckeye Beauty blocks. I'm using shirts and dark multicolors and a few dark metallics to supplement the RSC color of the month when I make these blocks. I started making these late last year and already had a few blocks made with yellow but made a few more this month to add to the pile. 

Then I made some Big Chips and some Little Chips for two different quilts. 

And with the trimmings from the Indian Hatchets and the Big Chips I made some Hourglass blocks that need some trimming. Those little Hourglasses finish at about 1 inch.