Sunday, April 30, 2023

Month End Miscellany

Comfort Quilts

I found a new place locally to donate quilts for emergency placement bags for kids going into foster care.  After I contacted them they asked if I would also donate a quilt for a raffle and trivia night fund raiser. (I'll be glad to!!)  I bundled up a dozen quilts that might be suitiable for different ages and will drop them off sometime this week.  I've mailed quilts off via GiveBackBox to programs like this but am glad I now can save on postage although I will still send to some of the children's charities listed at GiveBackBox that are in need of quilts for kids. 

This Month's Reading

1. The Girl in the Striped Dress by Ellie Midwood.   WWII historical novel based on the true story of Helena Citronova, an Auschwitz inmate who fell in love with and later married SS guard Franz Wunsch.  (Might be difficult to believe if it was not based on a true story). 

2. Felony Murder Rule by Sheldon Siegel.   8th book in the Mike Daley/Rosie Fernandez series of legal thrillers.  (I've read all in the series up to this point and am ready to read book 9).

3. The Threshing of Straw by Kim Katron.  Takes place in the 1960's South. Generations of a family have secrets. 

4. Midwife of Auschwitz by Anna Stuart.  WWII historical novel based on the true story of Stanislawa LeszczyƄska, a Polish midwife who spent two years at Auschwitz and delivered 3,000 babies. Some of those babies were taken from their mothers and entered the Lebensborn Program but other babies were ripped from their mothers and drowned in buckets in front of them.  Stanislawa was Catholic and has been nominated for sainthood. 

Leaders/Enders in April

This month I've mostly been making Four Patches with some 3 inch squares I was given a few months ago. I have been pairing complementary colors in the Four Patches. 

I have 107 Four Patches and am aiming for 140 of them for a 50 x 70 comfort quilt. 

I had to add in a few of my 3 inch squares in order to have enough complementary color matches. 

I need to match up some more pairs in order to continue to use these as leader/enders in May. 

But when I ran out of 3 inch square pairs I started sewing together 2 inch squares for 16 patches for Arkansas Crossroads blocks.  Those leader/enders sure add up in a month's time! 


This month I've been doing lots of garden clean up and prep, planted some seeds and some plants I winter sowed. Flowers are starting to bloom and I hope to be able to start showing them off with my Wednesday Wandering blog posts. 

And sew on...


Saturday, April 29, 2023

Purple Potpourri

Purple is the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) color for April. Well I finally got around to using some purple scraps this month. 

From a few purple scraps 4.5 inches in width:
10 inch Monkey Wrench blocks. 

From a few purple scraps 3.5 inches in width:
7.5 inch Monkey Wrench blocks and...

...6 inch Broken Dish blocks,
3 x 5 inch Switch Plate blocks,
3 inch Snowballs.

In the "Turning Something Small Into Something Larger" category I have turned some little 3 inch Broken Dishes blocks into 7.5 inch Squared Away blocks and...

...turned some 3 inch Economy Blocks into 6.5 inch Stars and...

...turned some 3 inch Economy Blocks into 6 inch I Spy Happy Blocks

Stacks of 5 inch squares of purple and an alternate color were made into cute little 3 inch Old Italian blocks using a stack, whack and shuffle method.

2 inch purple squares were used as the corners for a few 4 inch Indian Hatchet blocks and then a few 2 inch scraps were made into 3 inch Bow Tie blocks. 

And now it is time to put the purple scraps away and see what the RSC color for May will be. 


Friday, April 28, 2023

A Little Soul Searching

Little Soul Searching
It's a top!
42 x 60

Why is it called Soul Searching? The inspiration came from a quilt by that name in the book Making Quilts by Kathy Doughty. Her blocks were made with 2.5 inch pieces but mine are made with littler 1.5 inch pieces ---Little Soul Searching. 

I started making the 12 x 14 inch blocks last year when I was emptying out my 1.5 inch scrap bin.   I ended up with several blocks but not enough for a small comfort quilt. I like to make those roughly 40 x 60. 

The other day when I was looking at a few UFOs I noticed I only needed 3 more blocks and I could move this UFO to flimsy stage.   

I had my purple scraps out for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) so made a purple block. 

Then I noticed I could really use an orange block since I hadn't made one of those. But I had very few small orange scraps in the orange scrap bag so pulled those out and then supplemented those with some yellow scraps and mixed them up a bit for this block. 

Then I always seem to have a lot of blue scraps so I made a blue block and then there were 15 blocks and I was ready to make a top.

And so I did make a top. 

To be continued...and quilted...and sew on...


Wednesday, April 26, 2023

What To Do? What To Do?

Someone recently gave me a gallon bag of 2 inch squares. She also included a couple of pieces of solids in the box of scraps.   I decided to see how a couple of Arkansas Crossroads blocks looked. Ok. That might make a nice adult sized donation quilt.  I will continue to make these blocks using warm color solids.  I've been sewing together squares as leaders/enders. I'm using mostly darker squares.

I also made a few of what I call "Checkered Past" blocks. Four of these waffle-y type blocks get sewn together and then all the blocks are sashed in a quilt.   I finished one like I'm talking about back in 2017. It was based on a vintage quilt I saw on Ebay and the seller called it Roman Stripe.  I thought this might be the way to use some of the lighter squares. 

And then I decided that right now that takes more background and sashing fabric than I want to use so will put it on hold for now.  

And then the idea for these 16 Patch blocks popped into my head. Hmmm...maybe... Let's try a few more.

Ok. Let's go with that.   More leader/enders!

And sew on...

Note: Blog comments usually come to my email inbox and then I reply back if you are not a "no reply" commenter which means your email addy is not attached to the comment ; however, that comment email notification feature does not seem to be working right now.   Please know that I do enjoy your comments but at this time I may not be able to reply with a thank you. 

Thanks for the visit. Have a wonderful day! 


Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Fruit Basket Upset

15 inch Cake Stand Blocks
or what I'm calling Fruit and Veg Baskets

Someone recently gave me a lot of large fruit and veg triangles and I immediately thought of making them into baskets so actually tried my thought out before I lost that thought. Yes, that will work. I'll make all the baskets brown and the backgrounds cream. I even have a few fruit and veg fabrics I can add to the mix.  And since I already planned for June's theme in my sewing space to be "Brown Stuff", well, I'll move these basket blocks into my June plans because I have a lot of brown scraps I think I may be able to use for those baskets. 
I'll probably use mostly the red, orange and yellows in this bigger quilt and maybe make more colorful baskets on a more colorful background and only use fruits and make a smaller child sized version called "Fruit Basket Upset" because that old childhood game immediately came to mind after I made the baskets. 

And sew on...


Sunday, April 23, 2023

The Last Hurrah

Chinese Coins 
made of selvages
41 x 60

For this one I tried to use mostly wider and bright selvages without much writing. 

And I had just enough of a black fabric with multicolor dots to use for sashing between the blocks. 

The Last Hurrah!

In my sewing room the theme for April has been Strings, Selvages, Crumbs and Orphans. I haven't even made it to the boxes of orphan blocks nor will I this month.  Sewing crumbs, strings and selvages together is pretty labor intensive and sure uses a lot of thread. And I haven't really even emptied that many bags or boxes of scraps - just mostly made shorter strings or selvages. Even though I have made nine comfort quilt tops this month from selvages, crumbs and strings I don't feel like I've accomplished much.  I'm tired of this month's theme now so moving forward a little early to May's "free range" theme. I'm allowed to do that because the monthly theme is my own game with my own rules.  So from now on through May I'm going to feel free to move about the sewing room AND the gardens. "Free range"!

So, this Chinese Coins quilt top (#9 for the month) is the Last Hurrah   last flimsy for April made of strings, selvages or crumbs. 

And sew on...


Saturday, April 22, 2023

Warm And Cold Jots, Iotas, Smidgens, Whits and Orts

Two Flimsies
Each 41 x 60

(I had to hook them together  at bottom with a clothespin to keep them from blowing so much in the wind)

I blogged about a larger top yesterday that had all colors of strips of itty bits mixed together.   For a number of years I have been making little strips with leftover scraps less than a square.  And for a number of years I've been making blocks from scraps in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) color of the month. Well, those scraps leftover from scraps that were less than a square went into little strips that were all the same color and they then were stored in a separate little box from the all color little strips I used in the top yesterday. 

I think it was more difficult to use the little strips in all one color than it was to use the strips with colors all mixed up. I started out thinking I would make a larger quilt with the columns of strips in colors of the rainbow order.  Then it got to be too much thinking and math about how wide and long to make it, how many and how long were each color of strip...anyway, too much thinking and I just wanted to sew the strips together and make a top. 

Well, in the end no matter how much I tried to avoid it I did have to do a little bit of thinking and math just to sew a little box of  scrap strips together.  And I still have little strips left - blacks, pinks, whites, browns, aquas and a few strips of rainbow colors too. For now I'll set them aside to maybe use with orphan blocks one of these days. 

The warm colors - red, orange, yellow. 

I had very few orange scraps and more yellow than I thought I had. 

The cool colors - green, blue, violet.

I had very few violet scraps and more greens than blues. 

And sew on...


Friday, April 21, 2023

Jots, Iotas, Smidgens, Whits and Orts

It's a top!
Made of Jots, Iotas, Smidgens, Whits and Orts
Some might even call them crumbs
59 x 72

If you've followed my blog you have probably seen me doing a little scrap processing over the years.  One of the last things I do with leftover strip after I make blocks with it is to cut squares or if there is less than a square I sew the pieces into strips by width that I always said would be made into a Chinese Coins quilt someday.  Over the years those little strips have filled up a little box so I decided it was time to sew them together. 

Pieces less than a square randomly sewn together into strips over the years and tossed into a box. Then the strips of same width were randomly sewn together into columns. And the columns were randomly sewn together into a top. 

This is the top's sweet spot! 

This was supposed to be a little longer but I had a difficult time squaring it up so lost a few inches in that process. I don't really have the tools or a big cutting mat so usually don't square up quilts but my columns were roughly between 73 and 75 inches long so I had an uneven edge at the bottom.  I still have more quilt tops to make with bits like this so with the next ones I will make the columns all an exact length before I sew them together. 

And this is where I put a little LOVE into the quilt.  And isn't it kind of strange how in all that randomness two different heart scraps would end up near that LOVE? Ah, the mysteries of the universe!! 

And sew on...


Thursday, April 20, 2023

Selvage Quarter Log Cabin Top

It's a top!
Quarter Log Cabin
50 x 60

I used the longest, widest and most colorful selvages to make the 10.5 inch blocks. I wanted to make bigger blocks and more blocks but most of my selvages were not long enough or colorful enough. So this is where I ended up. 


And sew on...