Sunday, October 31, 2021

What's in the Hoop?

What's in the hoop? 
30s Churn Dash

I finished the top in May 2020. It's a big one at 92 x 92. 

Now that we are having cooler weather I don't mind a large quilt on my lap in the evenings while I hand quilt. If I don't do some kind of hand work in the evenings after dinner I fall asleep the minute my booty hits the couch. I don't need to go to bed at 6:30 p.m. !

I am big stitch quilting with perle #8 in the colors of the quilt. 

I'm using up odds and ends of threads I had on hand. 


Saturday, October 30, 2021

Postage Stamp Projects

Double Irish Chain has been one of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) projects. My goal is 63 nine inch (finished) blocks. Now I have 55 blocks and hope to get all 63 finished by year end. I've been using light brown or cream for the background and dark brown for the chains.  These will be sashed with cornerstones. 

I took the PSP20 (Postage Stamp Pandemic 2020) blocks out of my RSC projects after I used most every color of solid I had. I've been making these for quite awhile and at various times I have run out of 1.5 inch squares and solids so project gets set aside until I have something to work with. Along the way I won some solids and someone sent me a gallon bag of 1.5 inch squares.  I recently found some purple solids in with my pansy fabrics so will use those to make blocks and decide where to go from there. I now have 89 blocks and am aiming for 121 and a BIG quilt. 

So, these are two projects that won't be in my RSC 2022 list of scrappy blocks. 


Friday, October 29, 2021

Report From A Fly On The Wall

After I reported on my string quilts to the Stashbusters Group  someone said they wished they could be a fly on the wall and someone asked how many hours in a day I usually spend sewing. 

Well, on average I probably spend about four hours a day in my sewing space sorting, cutting, sewing and ironing. And today there was a fly on the wall that will report on what I actually did in four hours in my sewing room this morning after my coffee, yogurt and toasted homemade sourdough bread. 

I made some HSTs in July for a quilt called Mystica. The top consists of 4 panels of 14 rows and columns of HSTs and squares. I have one panel sewn (1X) and just started working on another panel yesterday and sewed together pieces in rows 1-4.
. Today I worked on sewing together rows 5-9 for panel 2X. 

I was going to sew together webbed rows of  PSP20 (Postage Stamp Pandemic 64 patches) for leader/enders at the end of each column but that seemed too slow and like too much pinning. 

I decided instead to use waste triangles to make wonky HSTs instead. I blogged about these and the quilt I want to make inspired by a vintage quilt back in January. 

Panel 1X. I'm working on making another panel like this one which I've named 2X. 

So anyway, after I webbed together rows 5-9 of panel 2X I sewed together the rows 1-4 I webbed yesterday. Then pressed. And then I was tired of Mystica so moved on to something else. 

Double Irish Chain is one of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) projects. I have 52 out of the desired 63 blocks made and I want to have all 63 blocks finished by year end. So I decided to work on those. I picked out fabric yesterday for a couple of blocks so cut the pieces for two Double Irish Chain blocks from those fabrics. Then I put the fabrics away where they belong. 

Then I started piecing the blocks. A lot of blocks can be chain pieced but not these. I make them one at a time and work from the inside out. 

I started with the green one and got so far along and was missing a green 1.5 inch square. I searched around for it and then noticed I put the center together incorrectly. The little center nine patch should have brown corners and not green corners. Oops! I haven't had that happen before. Well, I set that one aside and will take the seam ripper to it tonight while watching TV with hubby. 
I did continue on and make the second Double Irish Chain with the orange pieces. 

Then I dug through scraps for fabric combinations for some more Double Irish Chain blocks. I may or may not cut and sew some tomorrow. But if I do feel like it I have some fabric combos ready. 

Then at this point I took a break - went upstairs, went to bathroom, got a glass of iced tea, chatted a bit with hubby and went back downstairs. 

Then I sewed together the rows of three PSP20 blocks I webbed together yesterday. 

Then after I finished the three PSP20 blocks I ironed them. I also ironed the Double Irish Chain I just made and the two I made yesterday. I have more blocks in the ironing pile but I only ironed these because I want to blog about these two RSC projects tomorrow.   If you are interested my iron is a cheap Walmart Black and Decker. I don't use steam. If I want steam I spray the fabric with a spray bottle of water.   

Then I took photos of the PSP20 and Double Irish Chain blocks for tomorrow's blog post. I don't have a design wall. I prop an old cutting mat covered with a piece of batting against the wall and put blocks on it for photos. 

After that I cut solids for three more PSP20 64 patch blocks. I was getting low on different solids but recently found a few different purple solids in with some pansy fabric scraps so have been using those. I have a gallon baggie of postage stamps (1.5 inch squares).  

Then I webbed together pieces for 8 rows of 8 for three blocks. 
Then I was tired of postage stamps. 

I've been working on Path and Stiles blocks and have been using 3 inch nine patches for the centers. For several years I used to participate in a quarterly 3 inch 9 patch swap and even though I have made several quilts that used them I still have a bin of them. For the Path and Stiles blocks I am using nine patches made with two colors and then trying to match up scraps to the blocks to make the blocks.
 I picked out a few nine patches in two colors that had reds in them. 

Then I dug through my red scrap chunks for some possible fabrics to match the colors in the little nine patches. 

After I found some red scraps to match (I only need a 3.5 inch width scrap) I dug through scraps of other colors for the second fabric match. So when I feel like working on Path and Stiles blocks my fabrics are ready. 

So that was about four hours today in the sewing room. Doesn't seem like I did a lot but every little bit adds up!

Then hubby called me for lunch- last night's leftover chicken vegetable soup made with garden veggies (onions, green beans, carrots, tomatoes and potatoes) and some homemade crackers. 


Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Kaleidoscope of Strings

String Kaleidoscope
60 x 80
It's a flimsy!

I chose a red kind of textured looking fabric for the background and stayed with a primary color scheme and chose yellow and blue for the block corners. I wanted to use all polka dots and stripes for the corners but I didn't have that many polka dots or stripes in blue or yellow so made do with what I had on hand in the scrap bins. 

I'll probably big stitch hand quilt with black perle cotton through the red sections and am thinking of sewing in red buttons where the four corners of the blocks meet. I have a big collection of buttons so might as well use some. 

I probably should not have included any red solids in the wedges but what is done is done. I'm thinking they won't look so weird after the quilting is added. 

My question now is - do you think this needs a border? A piano key type border made of strings? I usually don't add borders to my quilts for a number of reasons but I do have some strings left. 
My inspiration photo has the type of border I'm thinking...just THINKING...about. I really don't want to make a border. What do you think? Should I? I'm kind of tired of playing in the strings right now. 

By the way, my inspiration photo is from the book Material Obsession 2 and the pattern is by Kathy Doughty. I have the book but did not follow her pattern instructions or even look at them. I've made several different kaleidoscope quilts and so just did my own thing. 

Well, I did mention I'm tired of working with my strings now. I did reduce the colored strings to one medium flat rate box of shorter strings and... large flat rate box of longer strings.   I was thinking of making a coin quilt with what is left. But then I thought if I was going to make a coin quilt I might as well add borders to the kaleidoscope quilt since that would be like making a coin quilt. And then, like I said...I'm tired of playing with strings for now. 

To border or not to border....that is the question. 


Monday, October 25, 2021

Wonky Log Cabin

Wonky Log Cabin
45 x 54
It's a flimsy!

Made with shorter strings it is string quilt top #5 to come out of my big box of strings. 

I used three inch red squares for the centers. Why? Because I had those pieces left over from making the Crossed String Top still on my cutting mat so it seemed to be a good idea to use them up. I almost had enough but had to dig a red solid scrap out of the box of red scraps so I'd have 30 squares. 

I decided to make 9 inch blocks with half in light strings and the other half bright/dark strings. Then I used the Fields and Furrows layout. 


Sunday, October 24, 2021

Valued Tops

Last year I cleaned out my 2.5 and 3.5 width scrap bins. One of the things I did when clearing the bins was cut 2.5 x 3.5 pieces.  I've also been cutting those pieces since then whenever I have scraps left over from other projects. They have been collecting in a shoe box and the box was full so I thought I should do something with them. Now I have about 10 little rectangles left in the shoe box and I'm not sure if I should start over again and fill the box or move on to something else.  

This one is 63 x 76. I intended for it to be 60 x 80 but somewhere along the line it ended up in other dimensions.  I webbed pieces together from the center out on each side and ended up with 21 instead of 20 pieces across. No worries. It's all good. 

For this one I took inspiration from Valued Quilt at Kitchen Table Quilting. 

Pieces are sorted into light, medium light, medium, medium dark and dark stacks. You know...I really had a problem figuring out the value of some of these little pieces so I sorted into three categories (light, medium, dark) and then after that I figured out medium lights and medium darks. And really I had fun looking at all the fabrics while I was sorting. 

I'm thinking I might just fill that little shoebox again with little rectangles 2.5 x 3.5 and make the other version of this that moves from dark scraps in the center out to lights at top and bottom. 

This one is 63 x 80 and the reason I started cutting the little 2.5  x 3.5 pieces. I was inspired by a scrap quilt at Blue Elephant Stitches. 

For this one I just had to sort light...



I cut, sorted and sewed and now I have a couple of "value added" tops!

(Now back to my string box).


Saturday, October 23, 2021


I guess I forgot what day this is - Rainbow Scrap Challenge ScrapHappy Saturday. 

I 've mostly been working on my box of strings but I did make a few Chips this week. I've been using jewel tones and black on whites to make these blocks. I now have 75 and my target is 140 so I guess this project will carry on into 2022. 


Thursday, October 21, 2021

And Yet Another String Quilt Top

String Quilt Top #4 from what used to be a  BIG box of strings a couple weeks ago. 

This is the lap quilt sized quilt (51 x 68) made with a tutorial from a June 2017 Quilt Along at Crazy Mom's Quilts. 

This one takes a lot of background fabric and doesn't really use up all that many strings. 

I thought the background fabric would overwhelm the strings (quick! Look away if busy quilts are hard on your eyes) but I can still make out some fun strings with hearts, hummingbirds...

...birds, dogs, ladies at a tea party...

For this quilt I didn't follow the instructions at Crazy Mom's quilts. At this point in my string usage I still had a lot of long strings to use so I cut a lot of 9.5 inch lengths off of those strings. I sewed together those 9.5 inch strings along the length until I had a long sheet of them.  Then I cut them into 8.5 inch sections. I trimmed each of those 8.5 x 9.5 inch sections to be 8.5 x 9 and then cut that section in half so I ended up with two almost identical 4.5 x 8.5 pieces.  I was able to make the 48 string pieces for the quilt in no time and was able to use some of the longer strings instead of sewing lots of shorter strings together. 

...ladies at a tea party, butterflies...

This is string quilt #4 from a box of strings. I probably have a couple more. You saw me cutting wedges for a kaleidoscope string quilt I've been working on and I have at least one more string quilt after that. 

Other string quilt tops from the big box: