Friday, April 30, 2021

Mystery Solved!

I've been sewing along on Alycia's Mystery Quilt called Dakota Inspired.  (Alycia also has a group list called Mystery Quilts for Military where the clues for the mystery are released each week. ) And now I have finished the mystery and know the ending. It has a happy ending as you can see. 

I have really dwindled down my patriotic print fabrics in the past couple of years. For reds I had a little bit left of two different star prints. So I added three different red paisley fabrics and a red tone on tone (TOT) to the mix. 

For the medium blue I had a piece of batik with black and white bits and and a kind of batik looking variegated blue  print  with red stars that went pretty well together. 

Fabric amount requirements were given at the beginning of the mystery but I never know how big the pieces will be cut so I just gather up a pile of fabric odds and ends and hope I have enough. I had almost enough of the white background with stars but had to supplement with a bit of white with red and blue stars. 

 When it came to the dark blue side setting triangles I could not get a big enough cut from any of my original fabric picks but I ended up making do with a few others. 

I love a good mystery!

Thursday, April 29, 2021

How Am I Supposed To Make A Cute Baby Quilt With Neutrals?

My youngest sister who lives in a land far far away (California) called me at the end of March,

"Katrina is expecting a baby boy in July. They are going to call him Ryder. When she goes back to work I'm going to watch him 3 days a week. Oh, and the nursery is done in neutrals." 

I'm not on Facebook so I usually get news of a new family addition after the baby's arrival from siblings or in-laws - the proud grandparents.  I don't think I have ever known the colors or theme of a new baby's nursery so when I gift a baby quilt it is a Cathy's Choice quilt. And most of the time I send a quilt to the proud grandparents to pass on to baby's parents or to keep for when baby visits.  

I'm sure my sister gabbed on about more things on that phone call because she is a gabber and sometimes a repeater. Usually I am a listener but after she told me the new baby news all I could think of was --how the heck am I supposed to make a cute baby quilt with neutrals?

In those days after the phone call I issued myself a challenge - try to make a cute baby quilt with neutrals. I like to challenge myself because it helps me to get things done and sometimes I even get to experience the feeling- of -accomplishment high.

 I pulled all the neutrals in my stash that seemed like they might be okay in a quilt for a baby. I piled them all at the end of the ironing board and looked at them for days. The pile was not really a pile but more like a mole hill. When I used to buy fabric I usually bought a half yard at the most so I could have a lot of variety. Most of the neutral pieces in my mole hill were less than half yards and they kind of said "blah" to me. Blah, blah, blah. 

I like Sawtooth Stars so I decided I'd make a few with my neutrals -- 3.5 inch and 2 inch width pieces were cut. Then I cut my Flying Geese parts with the Easy Angle and Easy Angle Companion rulers from the 2 inch width fabrics. 
Ok. So I thought the little six inch (finished) Sawtooth Stars were kind of cute and before I knew it there were 49 of them and then a quilt top 42 inches square. 

Well then I had a bunch of 3.5 inch width scraps left over. This year when that happens I usually make Four Patches. But there were a lot of leftovers and so I first decided to make HSTs and then Pinwheels but then changed my mind and made Broken Dishes which are really more like broken Pinwheels to me because if you put the bottom two HSTs of a Broken Dishes block on top of the top two HSTs of a Broken Dishes block you actually have a Pinwheel. (And that is why you can see Pinwheels in a Broken Dishes quilt. Well, at least I can.)

After I made 49 Broken Dishes I had used most of the leftover 3.5 inch scraps and then some and I had another little quilt top that is also 42 inches square. 

So maybe baby Ryder gets two quilts - one for his house and one for Grandma's house since in the future he will be there three days a week. 

But did I meet the challenge? Are those cute baby quilts?? Well, kind of but there is not a novelty fabric in sight. How can a kid love a quilt with no bright colors or novelties? 

Then I remembered a baggie of four inch dog themed squares a friend sent me. And I pulled out the neutral dogs counting to see if I had enough for 36 Four Patches. I was shy squares for about four blocks but I had some dog fabrics to supplement. 

And since my neutral mole hill was still at the end of my ironing board I cut some 4 inch squares and made some Four Patches. 

 And then a third quilt 42 inches square was made. It has some novelties so it has to be cute. Right?

Maybe cute is in the eye of the beholder. 

Now to get these finished and mailed off for some California dreaming with Ryder. But first I need to find some cute backings. 

My OMG (One Monthly Goal) for May is to finish all 3 of these quilts. 

Sunday, April 25, 2021

It's a Finish!

String Stars
70 x 90

Whew! It's nice to be finished with this one! It was one of my oldest UFOs - started in 2012. Don't ask...I don't know what took me so long. 

I usually make my "string" quilts from strings (varied sizes of long scraps) but this one was made from strips all 1.5 inch in width. The strips were sewn to that green background (Kona Spring Green) 5.5 inch square and the background stayed in place (was not cut away). So those little 5.5 inch blocks were rather heavy when completed. 

Since the blocks were heavy I did not use batting in this quilt so it is technically probably not a quilt but a  coverlet. I hand quilted it with big stitches in perle #8 which is also called Spring Green.  I stitched through the middle of each of the strips and about 1/4 inch inside the stars and then I tied the center of the star. 

I made a scrappy green binding. 

The color doesn't show up very well but it is a green floral backing I set aside a long time ago to go with this quilt.  I kind of like how the stars poof out on the back since I didn't do any quilting and just did a little tie in the center. 

The star stands out because it is just two layers in that area - background and backing. The rest of the quilt/coverlet has three layers - strings, background, backing. 


Saturday, April 24, 2021

Sewing Blues

Buckeye Beauty

This year for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) projects I have been working with my scrap "chunks" to make my blocks. This month's color is supposed to be light and bright blue but a lot of my RSC blocks use light, dark, and bright so I just made some of my blocks in this blue month and will make the rest of my blocks in the next blue month. 

At the beginning of the month I cut off a 3.5 inch and 2 inch pieces from several of my blue scrap chunks and made Dove in the Window blocks.  With the leftovers from those pieces I made most of this week's blocks. 

I've been making 6 inch (finished) Buckeye Beauty blocks using scraps in the RSC color of the month plus shirts and black multicolor scraps and sometimes red/black scraps. 

I had a lot of bits and pieces of blue shirts to use this month. Usually I don't have many shirts in the RSC color but I hit the jackpot with blue. 

Then moving on I made some 9 inch (finished) Antique Tile blocks. These still used some of those Dove in the Window leftovers. 

And then finally I made some X+ blocks still trying to use up those Dove in the Window leftovers. 

No matter what I work on if I have 3.5 inch leftovers at the end of the project I make Four Patches if I have two squares.  Those go into the Parts Department. And anything less than a square gets sewn into a strip for a future Chinese Coins quilt. 

The same goes for any left over 2 inch pieces - Four Patches and Coins.

That just leaves me to make Propellers, Double Irish Chain, Big and Little Chips and a table runner for the next blue month. 


Friday, April 23, 2021

It's a Finish! Scrap Bag Medley

Scrap Bag Medley
64 x 80
It's a finish!

I made the top last year when I was working on emptying scrap bins I organized by scrap width.  
Everything goes! I think this was one of the last quilt tops to be made with 2.5 inch and 4.5 inch scraps. 

A bunch of 8 inch (finished) blocks - Rail Fence, Sixteen Patch, Four Patch, Happy Blocks.

I quilted it on my DSM with swirls. I had read that several people use lime green thread to quilt multicolor quilts so I thought I would give it a try. Yes, it did blend well with all colors. I was going to make a scrappy binding but couldn't decide what scraps to use when my eyes fell on a pink, yellow, blue stripe and I thought it looked like there was just enough left for binding. Yes, there was just enough. 

The backing is an old colorful floral M'Liss fabric I picked up when Hancock Fabric went out of business in 2016. I thought it was time to take it off the shelf and use it. 


Thursday, April 22, 2021

Tales From The Scrap Yard: Farewell To Green

I received several bags of scraps back on March 24. I sorted them into various categories and then started with a grocery bag of green scraps. The goal was to see how many small donation quilts approximately 40 x 6o I could make from those scraps. 

This is top #5 that came out of that bag of green plus some pink 6.5 inch squares with frogs that were also included with all of the scraps. The blue squares came from my scraps. 

I've been blogging about all that I make from the March 24 gifted scraps (aka Candra scraps) in Tales of the Scrap Yard.

As seen previously on Tales from the Scrap Yard

I was going to make Happy Blocks with the pink 6.5 inch squares in the center and bordered by 3 inch green pieces but none of the green pieces was long enough to use for two 11 inch sides that would be required. I always like to try to make the blocks for donation quilts around 10 inches if I can. So I decided to sew some of the 2 inch width scraps to the 3 inch scraps and then cut them to 6.5 inch lengths in order to border two sides of the pink centers. Well, then I needed some cornerstones and could not decide on a color. I finally thought...well, I have frogs, I have green land and so maybe I need to add water. And so I went to the scrap bin to find some water.  I had a blue that looked like water with stones in it and/or flower petals floating on top.  But of course I didn't have enough of that "water" so I had to piece a few cornerstones I kept near the edges with a different "water".

And so another top was made that will be donated when finished.  And that left me with just a few more scraps to deal with. 

I put the remaining pieces of pink fabric with frogs into my pink orphanage of pink parts, orphan blocks and odd bits of pink fabrics. I think there might be enough items in there to make a couple of quilt tops now. Well, not NOW...I mean later. 

Next I made a couple of 12 inch (finished) slab blocks. I first made a couple of 4 inch (finished) hearts from scraps to add to the blocks. I will make some of other colors to add to these blocks when I get the chance. They will all contain a red heart somewhere within the block. I made a "with heart" quilt like this in the past and really like how it turned out so why not make another? 

Then I had some 3.5 inch width pieces left over from making the Double Four Patch quilt so you know what I did with those...I made Four Patches for the Parts Department. That is almost always what I do now when I have at least two squares left over of 3.5 inch widths of fabric. I use low volume scraps for the alternate squares. 

I also make Four Patches with left over 2 inch scraps for the Parts Department. Everything else got cut into squares and if there was not enough for a square then it was sewn into a strip for a future Chinese Coins quilt.  Oh, I do also cut 3.5 x 2.5 rectangles and will continue until I reach 1600 which will be enough for two quilts I have in mind. ( I think I may be almost at the 1400 mark now). 

More squares in sizes I don't usually have --- 5, 5.5 and 7. 

I also added some strings to my box of all colors of the rainbow strings and...

 ...I added some crumbs to my crumb box.  I usually differentiate between crumbs and slab pieces. For me crumbs are usually irregular shapes and smaller than scrap pieces I use for slabs. 

Now that I've documented use of the green scraps I was gifted I'm ready to move on to the warm scraps- red/orange/yellow. So there will be more Tales from the Scrap Yard in the future. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Wednesday Wandering: Brrrrrr!

Took a walk outside yesterday after lunch to see what was in the garden that might not be looking so good in the garden today. We were supposed to get freezing temperatures over night. We did. When I woke up this morning it was 27 degrees. 

Bleeding Heart... in bloom along the front sidewalk. I may have to dig this out this year because there is supposedly a french drain that runs along side the house under there that we think needs repair. 

Tulips usually don't last for many years around here but these tulips have been around for about 25 years. My husband used to smoke cigars way back in the day and these tulips came free with one of his purchases. 

I love little species tulips. I have them planted here and there throughout the flower garden. Supposedly they are deer and rodent resistant. And maybe they are because I've had these for years. 

Red species tulips interspersed with perennial dianthus that blooms later ring the fairy garden. 

Surprise! I have no idea where this tulip came from. I've never seen it before and I did not plant any tulips in that area. 


More red species tulips.

Daffodils in the grass in front.

And yesterday I harvested the first spears of asparagus and had them for dinner. Hopefully the rest of the shorter spears don't freeze. 

And so it goes. 
Think I will spend time more time in the sewing room today because I think it will be too cold for this old lady to do any gardening.