Monday, May 30, 2022

The Last of the Grape Baskets

I've finished the last six Grape Basket blocks. These finish at 15 inches. This is one of the UFOs with basket blocks that I wanted to move forward this month. 

I started the month with 6 blocks and my target was 18 blocks. 

Of course Grape Basket blocks have to contain grapes!

I will be setting these on point. Now that I have my 18 blocks I just need to figure out what to use for side setting triangles and get it assembled. I know that won't happen before month end. 

Then I need to decide on a backing. I will probably have to piece one with some of the wine and grape fabrics I have left. 

One of my goals this month was to try to move forward 4 different UFOs with baskets. How did I do?

3. I started the month with 6 fifteen inch (finished) Grape Basket blocks and I met my goal of 18 blocks as you can see. 

4. No progress at all.  

And since I only moved forward 3 of the 4 basket UFOs I don't get my planned reward - start another basket quilt I have had my eye on. That's just as well. I'm kind of tired of baskets now. 

And sew it goes...


Sunday, May 29, 2022

Four Patch Basket Finish

It's a finish!
40 x 56
Hand quilted

Usually when I make my version of an antique quilt I hand quilt it.  For this one I used ecru perle #12.  I just love how you can feel the fabric get softer and softer as I quilt. 

I used mostly pink and brown civil war reproduction prints and used up most of my pinks. Not all of the fabrics were reproduction but ones that I thought would look okay together with the reproductions.. 

My basket is different from the one in the antique quilt. I like the original basket but it has a bias handle and I'm not too keen on making bias to match each little basket. 

There's one light pink fabric I should probably not have used because it doesn't blend in and and stands out like a sore thumb but it has baskets on it so I used it. My quilt; my weird rules!  

The binding is a brown and red print. 

And the backing is a pinkish brown. 

I think with all this work it will now go into the hope chest for my first great grandchild. I guess maybe I should label it with those instructions. 

And sew it goes...


Saturday, May 28, 2022

Bits and Pieces

Green is the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) color for the month of May - specifically darker greens like sage and forest. I have so many different RSC blocks in the works so I just made some of the blocks but used all shades of green. When the RSC color is light/bright green then I'll finish making the rest of my RSC green blocks. 

This week I made some small Chips (3 inch finished) also known as Square in Square. 

I had some pieces cut and in the project box with some other colors so I went ahead and made those blocks too since I guess I was in the mood.  This is my second year of making them so I guess I should take count. 

Four Patches made with some green 2.5 inch scraps. They are nothing fancy but it's always good to stock up on parts.  And it's always nice to have an easy block to make when scraps happen.

I've been trying to completely empty out my 2 inch width scrap bin for a couple of years. One of the blocks I'm making to help empty it is Bow Tie.  I was going to cut green scraps to make Bow Ties but thought I should go ahead and make some of the Bow Ties that I had ready to sew.  These blocks also finish at 3 inches. 

And sew it goes...

Friday, May 27, 2022

Two More Tops: Baby Panels #4 and #5

A few years ago I was given some little panels or center pieces. I've been throwing pieces of fabric I thought might go well with the panels into the box with the panels. I'm not good at thinking of borders for medallion type quilts so I've procrastinated on doing anything with the little box of panels and fabrics.  Then someone with the Sunshine Online Quilt Guild (SOQG) (a group that quilts for several different charities) suggested a panel challenge for May and since I usually like to challenge myself just a little I decided to dig in and see what I could do with those panels and bits and pieces.  Now my box is almost empty after making these two tops - #4 and #5. I'm going to use some of what is left in the box to piece some backings for these quilts.  Then maybe in June I will piece together some batting and then get them quilted and donated. MAYBE. 

40 x 42

The panel had a few animals, the alphabet and some happy plants and mushrooms. I thought the pinwheels looked KINDA SORTA like some of the happy plants. So after adding a little coping strip in pink because there were pink strips in the panel I added pinwheels. I made the pinwheels in blue and yellow since they were colors also found in the panel and I had a few fabrics with letters and numbers on them as well as shapes and happy flowers so those fabrics went into the pinwheels. 

Then I made it easy on myself and added a couple of plain ol' borders - a pink one like the coping strip and a blue one like the pinwheels that had some tossed letters. 

40 x 49

The center panel had owls, trees and mushrooms. 

I added blue coping strips. That panel was a very weird size and my head hurt after figuring out the measurements of the coping strips. Let's say they involved 1/8ths.  Anyway, I had that light blue tone on tone fabric with branches in it so figured owls sit on branches so it should be okay to use. 

I also had a few 4.5 inch scraps and squares with owls left over from making a few quilts so decided to use those and alternate with four patches.  I used a constant light brown polka dot fabric for the four patches because there's a little strip with polka dots in the panel. The other pieces in the four patches were scraps that KINDA SORTA matched the colors in the panel. 

At that point I thought I was finished when the top reached 40 x 40 but then when I held the top up to admire my masterpiece it did not look right proportionally - probably because of the wider coping strip in the middle and shorter one on the bottom. So I added what was left of the blue branchy fabric to the top and bottom. 

And sew it goes...


Thursday, May 26, 2022

What's In The Box?

I used up most of my patriotic print fabrics. But I do have some scraps. And then someone recently sent me some patriotic print scraps. So now I have a lot of patriotic print scraps in a box. I'm going to see what I can make from these scraps in June. Stay tuned. 

And sew it goes...


Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Wednesday Wandering

It's been so nice the last few days so I worked out in the gardens most of both days and now doesn't my body know it! I keep forgetting I'm 70 and not 35. It's been raining today so I'm just relaxing. 

Funny story about these daisies. Last August we went on a little vacation for a few days and when we got back home the lawn needed a good trim.  I noticed what looked like daisy leaves in the lawn which is actually full of all sorts of stuff and not just grass. So, I dug up the little patch and moved them into my cottage garden in a couple of sport and marked them with a flag. I'll be darned...they were daisy leaves!

The tree peony blooms are starting to fade. 

And the Iris are starting to bloom. This is in a patch of weeds/grass I haven't pulled yet. I know there is poison ivy around that area and I'm just not prepared for a case of it yet.  I used to have a lot of Bearded Iris in a variety of colors but one year they must have gotten a disease or the rhizomes must have gotten too wet or something because I found most of the rhizomes rotted.  I had dug up the patches of them and saved what I could. 

These yellow iris have been around since we moved here over 30 years ago. They multiply like crazy and they are almost impossible to kill. I even threw some on the compost pile one year and had iris growing in my compost pile. They grow in sun or shade. 

More Aquilegia (Columbine) are in bloom. This is a spurred type. 

These are a Nora Barlow type columbine. 

The flowers are a little different than the old fashioned varieties. 

I just love this white one I started from seed. It has sort of a light purplish tint on them as they mature. I think it likes it there under the shade of the lilac. I have Lamb's Ear next to it near a pathway and also along the pathway but not showing here are some Lilies of the Valley that are no longer blooming as well as some chocolate peppermint. 

The Baptisia (False Indigo) is starting to bloom. I haven't even gotten around to cutting back the dead wood from last year. I did winter sow some seeds from this but I have not seen any sprouts yet. It needs at least 30 days of cold stratification. I also winter sowed cream indigo and I have a couple of seedlings now. They are slow growers I guess. 

I forget what these purple flowers are. They reseed themselves and pop up here and there in the cottage garden every year. I think it is called Farewell to Spring.  It popped up this year amongst some tree lilies. 

And the Cranberry Bush (Viburnum Opulus) is in full bloom. High winds destroyed a lot of it a few years ago but it is making a comeback.   My mother-in-law lived with us for awhile before she passed away. I planted it near a window where she sat so she could look out and see it as well as some other flowers like roses and hollyhocks. I also used to have a bird feeders and bird bath near there so she could enjoy bird watching too.  When the bush is in bloom it reminds me of her. Seems like there should be some blues music playing in the background. She loved to sing the Blues. 

And so it grows...


Monday, May 23, 2022

Grape Baskets

Remember I said at the beginning of the month that my theme for the month was baskets and that I wanted to try to move forward four different UFOs with baskets?? Well, this is basket UFO #3 and is a traditional block called Grape Basket that finishes at 15 inches. I started making them back in 2019.  And of course Grape Baskets should have some grapes in them. 

When I pulled out the box of grape themed fabric and finished blocks at the beginning of the month I found I had made 6 blocks and figured I should make 18 blocks total to be set on point. 

So far this month I have made 6 more blocks and have a total of 12 blocks now. I only have six more to go! 

Hopefully I won't run out of grapes! Hopefully I can move forward with this quilt before it is vintage! 

Way back in the day I used to collect grape fabrics. We used to make our own wine from our own grapes. Then hubby got oropharyngeal cancer and he quit drinking wine because he said it burned his throat. And I don't drink that much. Then I started making grape jelly and grape juice. Then I started giving the grapes away so others could make wine and jelly and juice. 

I've heard it through the grape vine that I might just finish six more by month end. MIGHT! 

The instructions are from Ladies' Art Company Block Tool but I make mine just a little bit differently and use Easy Angle rulers to cut my HSTs. 

And sew it goes...


Sunday, May 22, 2022

What's In The Hoop?

What's in the hoop? Basket Four Patch. 

I actually now have something in the hoop. It's been awhile. After I got it into the hoop that I like which is a PVC type square hoop, the hoop broke. Well, actually a couple of the side pieces that clamp on to the fabric have cracks in them and won't hold the fabric down. Then I put the quilt into this bigger wooden hoop and it cracked. I was able to use duct tape to hold it together. I guess hoops are not all they are cracked up to be! Ah, yes, I crack myself up!

So, anyway, I have this little 40 x 56 crib quilt in the hoop. I actually started the blocks back in 2017. The little basket four patch blocks were inspired by an antique quilt at Q Is For Quilter.  Before you call me crazy for hand quilting a baby quilt, well, that's about all I felt I could handle for now and I like to hand quilt. I NEED to hand quilt in the evenings to get out of my slump. And besides...a small quilt is all I could pin baste. I usually pin baste my quilts on the living room floor. Right now my living room has several card tables set up in it. Those tables are full of flowers and veggies we've started under lights in a corner of my sewing space and now have moved into smaller containers for  hardening off before I move them to the gardens. We take the plants out to the deck off the living room to toughen up and get used to the elements and then bring them back in to the card tables each day. Well, short story long or long story short...I don't have much room to pin baste a quilt much larger than this one.

I'm using ecru perle #12 for hand quilting - big stitching on a small quilt. 

Remember I said I wanted to move forward a few UFOs with baskets? Well, I am. This is basket quilt #2. 

I'm quilting on the diagonal in the squares. 

And I'm quilting around the outside of the little four inch basket blocks as well as inside the three muslin triangles in the basket which is kind of difficult to do with big stitching. Those little HSTs are 1 inch. 

I pieced the batting. Normally when I machine quilt I just overlap the batting pieces a tiny bit. I used to zig zag them together but found when quilting on my DSM that the needle would hit those zig zagged areas and have a fit.   Well, anyway, since I am hand quilting I pieced the batting together by hand with a herringbone stitch. 

Saturday, May 21, 2022

More Green Bits and Pieces

This month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) color of the month is green - sage and forest. I have been making a lot of different blocks with scraps in the color of the month so I'm using all greens this month and just completing some of the blocks.  I'll make the rest of the green blocks when the light and bright green month rolls around. 

Bear Paw
6 inches finished
I cut the HSTs with an Easy Angle ruler and use 2.5 inch scraps. I use 4.5 inch squares from the bin of squares. 

I just started making these blocks. I've seen them called Windmills and St. Bridget's Cross.  I started making them because the pieces can be cut from either 2.5 inch or 4.5 inch scraps as long as the scrap is long enough for four pieces. They finish at 8 inches so 35 of them will make a nice kiddo sized donation quilt. 

I've been making 12 inch finished Wonky Logs with my strings. I've been using some novelty squares with black backgrounds for the centers.