Thursday, December 29, 2022


I've been thinking of making some kiddo blocks for a long time. I've been thinking they would be fun for row quilts in comfort quilts for kids along with rows of other things like pinwheels or stars. 

Well, anyway, the other day a pattern for blocks I kind of liked popped up in Pinterest so I thought I would give it a try and made a couple of test blocks. 

Pinterest linked me up with a 2015 blog post at de Jong Dream House so for my test blocks I followed the pattern exactly as written. But on the boy block I found that the two background pieces that are supposed to be cut at 3.5 x 9 were a little too long and should instead be cut 3.5 x 8.5. 

The blocks finish at 9 x 12. 

Well, I don't really like pants that hang low so I thought on my second trial of blocks I would adjust the pattern so the pants were more up on the boy's waist. And I thought those kids might be called fat heads so I thought I would try corners for the head cut at 1.5 instead of .75

So then the boy's pants looked kind of nerdy and he was still a fat head. Maybe I should try different pants again with longer legs. I did like the 1.5 inch background corners on the head. 

I liked both of the blocks on the third try. 
So, now I'm going to make six or so kiddos each month as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project in 2023. The clothes will be in the color of the month.  I will probably still experiment a little with the clothes. The girl may wear a shift or skirt and blouse. I like this boy the best but I may try giving nerd pants a belt and let some of the boys wear their pants below their waist but I don't want to see any underwear. I wanted to use a variety of grays for the backgrounds but these blocks used more fabric than I thought they would for background so may have to invest in a few grays since I wanted to also use the as the background for the rows of stars and pinwheels too.  I thought gray would work with the variety of skin tone fabrics I have found in my stash so far. 

I went back and fixed all the fat heads so now I have six blocks. I was thinking of five blocks per row. 

And sew on...


Wednesday, December 28, 2022

More Scrap Processing - Mostly 2.5 Inch Width Scraps

Monkey Wrench Blocks 
5 inch finished

Most of these HSTs (half square triangles) were left over from cutting Flying Geese for Long May She Wave Sawtooth Stars and from cutting QSTs (quarter square triangles) for Ohio Stars.  I use the Companion Angle ruler to cut the Flying Geese and QSTs but I cut the beginning and end of the strip with the Easy Angle ruler so that fabric is not wasted but used to make HSTs. 

Most of the 1.5 inch pieces came from my Monkey Wrench workbox and were previously cut when processing scraps. 

This is what I'm talking about when I say I cut a HST from the beginning of a strip when cutting for QSTs or Flying Geese with the Companion Angle ruler. 

Four Patch
4 inch finished
for red,white, blue quilt called Melting Pot. 
These are adding up fast and I'll have enough for a quilt in no time. 

4 inch finished Broken Dishes blocks, a Chinese Coin strip (scraps 2.5 x anything between 1 and 1.5 inches) and two 18 patches made from 1.5 x 2.5 pieces. I have quite a few of these now and am aiming for a twin sized donation quilt. 

4 inch finished
made from 1.5 x 2.5 rectangles.

I use 1.5 or 2.5 inch scraps to make these as long as I have enough for four identical pieces 1.5 x 2.5.

And finally piles of 2.5 inch squares - singles, pairs and sets of four. The sets of four go into the Monkey Wrench Workbox to use with 4.5 inch HSTs to make Monkey Wrench blocks.   I put some floral squares into my plaid Indian Hatchet workbox.  The 1.5 x 2.5 inch rectangles went into the Lego workbox. 

And sew on...


Saturday, December 24, 2022

Monkey Business

I've finished up the last 18 Monkey Wrench blocks to complete a set of 48 blocks. 
The blocks finish at 7.5 inches and will go into a 6 x 8 layout for a child's donation quilt. 

I've been working on sewing up a couple of boxes of HST and waste triangle parts all year and I came across quite a few yellow/floral HST parts left over from a Florabunda (Jacob's Ladder) quilt I finished up back in 2017 that was started way back in 2011.  So I combined those yellow/floral 3.5 inch unfinished HSTs with some 2 inch pieces and tried to make some fun and happy looking blocks for a child's quilt.  These HSTs and blocks were just made from scraps.

I will set these aside to sew into a top and maybe finish in January when my sewing room theme will be KIDS. 

Happy Holidays!

And sew on...


Friday, December 23, 2022

In Memory Of

Carol, a beloved member of our Sunshine Online Quilt Guild (charity quilting group), passed away a few days ago.  Carol used to blog at Giraffe Dreams.

Carol's favorite quilt block was Ohio Star. Her favorite color was blue. Carol's cousin Beth (also a member of Sunshine) will be collecting 12 inch Ohio Star blocks with blue to make into donation quilts in her memory. Carol loved making quilts for children. 

I thought I should make some blocks immediately and get them sent off before I get distracted or forget.

I never met Carol in person but I am a better person for having known her for many years. 


Tuesday, December 20, 2022

What's In The Box?

I recently received a large flat rate box of scraps. I usually sort them out right away into piles by width size. In this box I put the 3.5 inch width pieces as well as the 2 inch width pieces.  I always like to see what I can make out of the little piles of scraps.  As I worked with the scraps some of them were a little less than the width specified so I put those aside for later. 

First I made Monkey Wrench blocks that finish at 7.5 inches. I've been making Monkey Wrench blocks from scraps in 3 different sizes and they will be made later into donation quilts.  The HSTs are cut with an Easy Angle ruler from the 3.5 inch scraps and the other parts are cut from 2 inch scraps. 

3.5 inch scraps went into making Switch Plate blocks and a Broken Dishes block. 2 inch scraps went into Bow Ties and the corners for Indian Hatchet blocks. 

Then I cut a pile of 3.5 inch squares. I was going to make Snowballs with them because I am making those as alternate blocks for some 3 inch Nine Patches I've had around for a long time but I decided to leave them as squares for now and I will make Snowballs each month in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) color of the month. That way they won't be so boring to make. 

I also cut 2 inch squares. Sets of 4 identical go into the Monkey Wrench work box, sets of 2 identical and single squares go into my bin of squares to be used in the future. 

Then, of course, I made the last bits into Chinese Coin strips. 

Then my box was empty. 

So I grabbed some piles of 4.5 inch HSTs I had made and set aside for Monkey Wrench blocks that finish at 10 inches.  The 2.5 inch squares I used to make them were previously cut when scrap processing and came out of the Monkey Wrench work box. 

After I made those I cut a little pile of 4.5 inch squares. 

I also made a few more Broken Dishes blocks. The top finish at 8 inches and the bottom finish at 7.5 inches.  Those 4 inch purple HSTs came in the box of scraps. 

I couldn't leave the box empty for long. I filled it up with all the parts for five different donation quilts for kids. I was in a cutting mood I guess. That's kind of strange for me. I don't usually ever cut everything for a quilt. I cut a little, sew a little, cut a little and sew on. 

Last month I came a cross a partial set of Star blocks. The Stars finish at 7.5 inches. I cut parts so I'll have 30 blocks total for a 5 x 6 layout (37.5 inches x 45 inches)

A long time ago when the grandkids were younger I swapped a lot with an I Spy group. This is a partial set of Happy Blocks swapped a long time ago. I think there's 20 six inch finished blocks. The center is a 4 inch square and the sides are 1.75 x 4 and 1.75 x 6.5. The sides are solids or tone on tones (TOTs).  I figured 49 blocks would make a nice quilt 42 x 42 so I cut parts for 29 more blocks. 

More Happy Block parts. I swapped a lot of 6.5 inch I Spy squares in the past and a long time ago I pulled out different themes of squares for quilts. This pile of squares are modes of transportation/road signs.  With a 6.5 inch center I usually use 2.5 inch sides because that makes a nice 10 inch finished block.  I cut some scraps of plaids and stripes for the side pieces and will make 24 blocks for a 4 x 6 layout. 

I have had these Ballerina prints around for a long time. I've made a couple of quilts with the smaller prints but I never could decide what to do with the larger prints. Finally I decided on 9.5 inch squares alternating with 9.5 inch Nine Patches. I cut a total of 15 squares and parts for 15 Nine Patches for a 5 x 6 layout (45 x 54 inch quilt). 

And finally I got around to cutting into the dinosaur fabrics I have left. I cut the big prints into fifteen 9.5 inch squares. I had some 6.5 inch dinos in my swapped squares drawer so I cut 2 inch sides to make them into 9 inch Happy Blocks.  I used some wild jungle-y looking fabric for some of the sides and I had a dino foot print print to use for some of the others. I don't remember how many Happy Blocks I will be able to make but there wasn't enough for 15 blocks so I also cut parts for some Nine Patches that finish at 9 inches to also use in the quilt. This one will also be set 5 x 6 for a 45 x 54 quilt. 

So now I'll have some things ready to grab and sew when the urge strikes. 

Now cutting for those five quilts left me with a few more piles of scraps I need to process. 
Oh, what fun! 

I've also been piecing backs and matching them up to the kiddo sized donation quilts because I have a huge pile that I need to finish and get out of my sewing space before I make any more tops.  I think the January theme in my sewing room will be KIDS. 

And sew on...


Saturday, December 17, 2022

Leftover Medley

I turned the leftovers from making Zip blocks into little 3 inch finished Bow Ties. I have quite a collection of these now. I'm aiming for a big quilt. I also made a few 3 inch finished Broken Dishes blocks.  Next year some of these will turn into Squared Away blocks each month because that will be one of my many Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) projects.   I also made a couple more Chinese Coin strips. 

Also from Zip leftovers I cut some squares.  The sets of four identical will go into my Monkey Wrench workbox. They will combine with 3.5 inch HSTs as they happen to make 7.5 inch finished Monkey Wrench blocks.  Then there's a little pile of sets of 2 identical and single 2 inch squares that will go into my squares box. 

Speaking of Monkey Wrench's some 5 inch finished Monkey Wrenches made with leftovers from making Heart blocks. 

I also cut sets of four identical, two identical and single 2.5 inch squares.  Then I was looking at all the 2.5 inch sets of 2 squares and thought...

...why not make Four Patches with the red ones and the leftover neutrals.  I've been thinking for a long time of making a simple red, white and blue Four Patch quilt.  So, that's what I did...made Four Patches and a New Start. 

Then I made a couple of little 6 inch finished 18 patch blocks for my collection. And, of course I ended up with my usual Chinese Coin strip. 

Well, then I decided to go through my 2.5 inch squares box and pull out the sets of 2 reds and blues. Then I made more Four Patches for my red, white, blue Four Patch quilt. 

After that I pulled out a few similar red and blue squares from my 2.5 inch squares and made more Four Patches.  I also pulled out all colors of floral 2.5 inch squares but more on that later on. 

I had some 2.5 inch squares in civil war reproduction fabrics left over from making Long May She Wave so I made more Four Patches with those scraps.  

I have a few collections of different fabrics and I keep the scraps for those collections separate from the general population of scraps.  After I finished making red and blue Four Patches from the civil war repros I looked through the '30s reproduction scraps and found a few 2.5 inch blues and reds. 

Then I looked through the patriotic print scraps and found a few 2.5 inch width scraps and made, you guessed it...Four Patches. 

Then I looked through the Parts Department bin that contains all sorts of different four inch blocks and dug out some red and blue Four Patches. By this time I was thinking this red, white and blue Four Patch quilt has quite the mix of fabrics so I started thinking of it as a melting pot. So Melting Pot is the name I'm giving this red, white and blue quilt.   Now maybe I should count how many Four Patches I have and settle on a size for the quilt. 

While I was in the 4 inch block Parts Department I found some Heart blocks leftover from a quilt made in the past that I think I gave to my daughter.  Well, anyway, I swapped a few of those Parts Dept. heart blocks with a couple of the duplicates in the collection for my new Heart quilt and...

...I thought I would use them as the centers of some Wonky Log Cabin blocks. I may just use red centers instead of adding in the pink ones but anyway I guess this is another New Start to use strings. I tried a couple of blocks out to see how they would look and I like them with the bright strings for a child's donation quilt.  My plan for 2023 is to clear a spot for a table so I can set up an old sewing machine and use that spot as my crumb and string center where I can go sew crumb or string blocks as the urge strikes and leave the mess sewing those blocks out until I've used up all my strings and crumbs. 

Ok. So remember earlier I said I pulled out all colors of floral 2.5 inch squares? Well, I used those along with some old shirts cut into 16 -4.5 inch squares (I did have to poverty piece a few squares like the second one in the bottom row that looks kind of puckered but it isn't. It's pieced at the top and checks don't match.) to make Indian Hatchet blocks...

...for a quilt inspired by this one. I think it's a vintage one but I don't remember the source of my photo right now.  I'm making mine with 16 blocks across and 20 down for a quilt that should finish at 64 x 80. 

I was going to use all florals for the flippy corners but after I made 3 rows I didn't have enough floral squares to make another row. So maybe I'll just use whatever 2.5 inch squares I have left in my squares box or maybe I'll look through my scrap bags (sorted by color) for some more floral scraps. 

And finally, I cut a few 2 inch squares, made a few Bow Ties and a Chinese Coin strip with the few 2 inch width leftovers from Fruit Flavored Log Cabin. 

So that's how one thing leads to another around here. Just by sewing up leftovers in this post I ended up with lots of blocks and 3 New Starts. 

And sew on...