Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Month End Miscellany


I have not yet posted pictures of the results of my December and January leaders and enders.  Mostly I have been working on emptying a couple of boxes of HST and triangle parts accumulated over years. Some have been given to me, some are clipped flippy corners and some occur when I use the Easy Angle Companion ruler to cut something like Flying Geese and use the Easy Angle ruler to cut the beginning and ending of a strip with the Easy Angle ruler. 

Well, anyway, first I make the HSTs. If there are four identical 2.5, 3.5 or 4.5 HSTs I turn them into Monkey Wrench blocks.  This time I ran across a baggie of 4.5 inch HST parts and turned them into 10 inch finished Monkey Wrench blocks. 

A few HSTs finished at 4 inches so I made those into Broken Dishes Blocks and they are an odd size so will go into the Orphanage. 

If I have two identical HSTs they get paired up with other HSTs for Broken Dishes blocks. That will be done with that pile of HSTs on the right.   The pile on the left of four identical 3.5 inch HSTs will be made into Monkey Wrench blocks. Both will be used as leader/enders in Feb. 

Again,  cleaning out boxes of HST parts - my leaders/enders...

Strips of 5 HSTs - some wonky, some weird sizes and all less than 2.5 inch HSTs. 

I've been collecting them in a box for my version of a vintage quilt. 

I think there's about 72 - 2.5 inch brown and white HSTs in this baggie. They are cut offs from Sunny Lane blocks. I swapped blocks back in 2015 and in 2021 I made more blocks for nice sized quilt and those are still in my SAR (Some Assembly Required) box.    I will probably add these to my Orphanage. 

For a long time I've made Wonky QSTs. 

I have a large flat rate box full of them I'm going to use as "made fabric" since they are wonky. I also have a center medallion to use in my version...

...of a vintage inspired quilt. 
Competition Quilt. about 1895. hand pieced cotton, silk, linen; hand quilted; machine stitched backing. Neusteter Textile Collection: Gift of Guido Goldman. 2008.406.

I'm going to use my Wonky QST "made fabric" in place of HSTs. 

 In January the theme in my sewing space was KIDS! KIDS! KIDS! and I finished 20 comfort quilts for kids. These and some others will probably go to Bright Start - a program for women and babies on the Pine Ridge Reservation and to Maternal and Child Health on the Rosebud Reservation -- a program for at risk mothers and their babies through age 2.   

I also finished a hand quilted quilt for me and a quilt my husband claimed. 

By my calculations that used 95.6 yards of fabric. 

My theme for February is Hearts and Flowers (mostly Hearts) and the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color pink.  So I'll be working with UFOs that fit the theme. 

January Reading List

The books I've read this month. 
Most of my reading takes place in the middle of the night on my Kindle when I cannot sleep. 

1.  Cold Is The Dawn by Charles Egan- the third book in the Irish Famine Series. I finished the other two books (The Killing Snows and The Exile Breed) of this trilogy in December.   I thought of my Irish ancestors while reading these books and the role religion and politics played in that historical period. My Irish ancestors were Roman Catholic.

2. Killing Jesus by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard. We all know the story. Again the role religion and politics played in this historical period. 

3. The Huguenot Chronicles Books 1-3 (Merchants of Virtue, Voyage of Malice, Land of Hope) by Paul C.R. Monk.  It has always been said that one of my paternal lines, Roman Catholics who emigrated to America from Ireland, were originally French Huguenots. If that is true I'm not sure where along the lines my line converted to Catholicism.  I'm glad I read this historical fiction.  I learned a lot about Huguenots and the role of religion and politics in the 16th and 17th century. 

4. Irish Boarding House by Sandy Taylor. Kind of a fairy tale but a nice story about a very kind person set in Ireland, 1952. I've queued up another book by this author. 

5. Judgement Day (Mike Daley/ Rose Fernandez Mystery #6) by Sheldon Siegel. I've queued up #7 in this series. So far I've enjoyed books 1-6. Daley and Fernandez are defense lawyers. Of course it always looks like there is no defense for their client; however, they always win the case. 

6. The World Played Chess by Robert Dugoni. Good story. Ok. I admit that I cried a little. 


I've sorted through my seeds. 

It's almost time to start winter sowing my seeds that require 60 day of cold stratification. Most of the seeds are for my native wildflower area. I'll start these in milk jugs and other containers and put them out on the deck where they can be exposed to the elements and sprout when conditions are right. Winter sowing simulates what happens in nature with flowers that self sow.   So through the next couple of months I'll be doing a lot of winter sowing not just of the native wildflower seeds but lots of other besides. I also start seeds under lights in a corner of my sewing room that don't work well for winter sowing in my area. 

I've done winter sowing for years. There never used to be much info on it when I started doing it but now if you Google "winter sown" there's lots of info on it.  Back when I started winter sowing I had come across a blog by Trudi Davidoff about it. I think she no longer has her blog but does have a public Facebook group with a lot of info.  I'm not a Facebook member (nor do I want to be) but I can see the Winter Sowers Facebook Group. There's a lot of info there! 


My sister's husband passed away on January 7. My husband's brother passed away on January 29. It was one year ago on the 15th that my granddaughter passed away.   

And sew on...


Monday, January 30, 2023

Wonky Stars Top

Wonky Stars

It's a small top!
37.5 x 45

Late last year I found a bag with a few blocks already made plus parts to make most of the rest of the blocks.  I don't remember when I made the blocks but I do know I was the one that made them. I'm thinking I made them of pieces left over from making another quilt

I noticed a lot of the pieces were owls and pussycats so I searched my blog posts and found I started making blocks from scraps after I finished an Owl and the Pussycat quilt back in October 2018.  My goodness time flies! 


Sunday, January 29, 2023

Two More Finishes

Two Quilts For Little Ones
40 x 40

I'm glad I took the pictures a few days ago. Since then we've had a little more snow and more frigid temperatures and wind. 

The first one is pinks and grays. I made this top and another larger one (not yet quilted) last year when pink was the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) color of the month.  

It's a simple quilt made of alternating 4.5 inch pink and gray squares. 

I quilted it on my DSM on the diagonals with light gray thread. 

The binding is pink gingham.

Pink elephants, some polka dotted,  are on back. 

This is a BTF (back then front) quilt meaning I started with the back and made a front to go with it. 

Hello Kitty! 

I made this top last year around the same time I made the pink and gray one. I guess I had squares on my mind. This one started with a piece of Hello Kitty fabric someone gave me.   

I just happened to have a few fabrics like footprints and polka dots to add to the mix in red, black and white. I set the squares in a diagonal red, black, white layout. I also quilted this one on the diagonals in white thread. 

The binding is red gingham. 

The same person gave me a different Hello Kitty piece of fabric in a different colorway with a lot more pink in it. There was not enough of it for a backing so I had to piece the backing. 

Actually both quilts are reversible! Which is the front and which is the back?

And sew on...


Saturday, January 28, 2023

A Little Blue

Monkey Wrench 
10.5 inch

I really didn't work with many blue scraps this month. My main goal for January was to quilt as many comfort quilts for kids as I could.   I figured there would be another blue month and I would work very hard on my blue scraps then. 

I did make a few blocks with blue scraps mostly working on them as leaders/enders.  For over a year I've been working on emptying a couple of small boxes of triangles, waste triangles and HST parts.  If I end up with four 2.5, 3.5 or 4.5 HSTs the same then I turn them into Monkey Wrench blocks.  I also make Monkey Wrench blocks when I process scraps and have enough HSTs for a Monkey Wrench.   At year end I'll make donation quilts with them. 

I already have quite a collection of 5 inch, 7.5 inch and 10 inch Monkey Wrench blocks. I need to find a bigger box to store them in now. 

I also made a few 4 inch Four Patch blocks. I've been making these in red, white and blues and I also have quite a collection of them. 

When I've been processing those triangles and such from those boxes I mentioned I also made some 3 inch finished Broken Dishes blocks with 2 inch HSTs. I decided to turn those into Squared Away blocks that finish at 7.5 inches. 

I have quite a bag of the Broken Dishes blocks and continue to make them so each month I'll see if there are four blocks in similar value and RSC color and turn them into Squared Away blocks. 

I had a little pile of 2 inch scraps near my cutting mat that I needed to process.  I pulled out the blues. They turned into some little 3 inch Bow Ties for my collection. I used a few blue squares as the corners on a couple of four inch Indian Hatchet blocks. And if the piece was less than a 2 inch square it turned into a Chinese Coin strip. 

And I also ended up with some 2 inch squares - a stack of singles, pairs and four the same.

Wonder what the next color will be.

And sew on...


Thursday, January 26, 2023

Four Finishes

Four Little Finishes

They all have little panels (or border prints?) as the centers. Someone gave me those panels (or border prints?) ages ago and I'm not one that is very creative for figuring out rounds for medallion type quilts so I never did anything with them. Then last year someone with our Sunshine Online Quilt Guild (SOQG) group issued a panel challenge and so I took on the challenge and made these tops. And now I've quilted them and they are ready for donation.

I think three of them are 40 x 40 and one is a little larger at 40 x 48.   I used quite a few pieces of batting in each of these so I quilted them densely. I don't zig zag together my batting anymore since I learned a long time ago that my sewing machine does not like to hit those zig zagged spots. Most of the time I now just overlap the batting a little bit and that works out pretty well for me. Once in awhile I do use a chevron stitch to hand stitch together batting for quilts I hand quilt. 

Center piece.

I made a few square in square in square blocks to add to the quilt. I used center 2.5 inch novelty squares for centers. I tried to use things that were in the center piece - mushrooms, plants, frogs. I framed them in 1.5 inch strips and tried to stay with colors in the center piece. 

Quilted with spirals. 

The backing and binding.

The second one has a jungle themed center. 

I dug through my little drawer of novelty squares - most swapped long ago - and pulled out some jungle-y squares. They were different sized squares - 4, 4.5 and 6.5. I framed them so they ended up as eight inch finished blocks. 

I quilted this one with leaves and some tropical flowers. 

This one has a pieced backing. I was hoping I had enough of that striped fabric left to use as a binding but it was not meant to be. But polka dots are always fun.

This one is a little larger at 40 x 48.
The center had owls and so I pulled out some owl scraps I happened to have that were 4.5 inches wide so I cut a bunch of squares. I then made some four patches using a constant brown/white polka dot fabric and other scraps in the colors found in the center. I then made some Double Four Patch blocks. After that it seemed kind of plain so I added the top and bottom border in the same blue leafy fabric as the coping strips. I then also made binding of what was left of that blue fabric but I must have put it into the binding box and used it in a different quilt because I sure could not find it when I was ready to bind this quilt. Well, I did have some of that polka dot fabric left so that became the binding. 

I quilted this one with leaves.

The back.

And finally...This one had some animals and ABCs for the center.  And some of the flowers looked to me like pinwheels so I decided pinwheels should be the block to surround the center. 

I had some different blue and some different yellow fabrics that had shapes, letters and numbers on them so made a few pinwheels with those and had to add in a floral and silly string fabric too. 

I quilted this one with spirals.  The binding was the same fabric used in the border on front - blue with letters and numbers. 

My KIDS! KIDS! KIDS! theme for January has helped me move forward and finish a lot of comfort quilts for kids this month. I think I may have a couple more finishes before month end but I am ready to move on to a new theme. Finishing quilts is not my favorite part of the process!

And sew on...