Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Another Wonky Log Cabin Quilt In The Works


This month the theme in my sewing space to move things forward has been Strings and Things.  I've been spending so much time in the gardens whenever I can so I didn't manage to get any string quilt tops quilted but I have dug into the strings this month and made one twin sized and two child sized tops. 

For this quilt I'm making Wonky Log Cabin blocks with the low volume strings. Each 9.5 inch block has a pastel pink 2 inch square center.   I started out making just 30 blocks for a child sized quilt. I wanted to see how many strings were left after that. Well, I had a lot left so went on to make 48 blocks for a quilt that will end up 54 x 72. 

Now the next step is to iron them all and trim to 9.5 inches. I chose that size because I have a square ruler that size.  I kind of lay the blocks on the square as I sew each round so I can see how close I am to 9.5 inches. The next size up square ruler I have is 12 inches. I'm thinking I will get a 10 inch square ruler. I like that size for donation quilt blocks. 

It's kind of a blurry picture but this was how the bag of low volume strings looked before I started making blocks. 

And this is how it looks now. 

And that leads me into the theme in my sewing space in May..."WITB and SAR"...What's in the bag/box/bin and Some Assembly Required. 

So now you have seen what was in that bag. And I think there might just be another quilt in there!

And sew on...

CELEBRATE! (my word of the year)

The last few days I've been celebrating the beautiful weather and gardening...weeding, pruning, planting, watching things bloom. I am so thankful I can spend time doing that. A few months ago I did not think I would be able to leave my husband alone in the house long enough to spend time outside. I am also thankful I am in pretty good health and have some time to spend doing what I love to do. 

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) Blocks

Wonky Windmills 
8 inch finished

I've found the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) to be a fun way to use up scraps over the years. It's always fun to hear what color scraps to work with each month and then go see what scraps I have in those colors. Then I make blocks. Usually I have a block or two going for each size scrap I encounter.  Sometimes I make a block for a couple of years and most of the time the blocks end up in quilts for donation. 

This month's color is yellow. Last month's color was purple. Since I spent most of March finishing up 31 donation quilts I didn't get all of my purple blocks made so worked on them this month too. Also, when I process scraps I might leave a little pile of a certain size scrap by my cutting mat to be made into blocks when I make my RSC blocks.  So this week is a catch all of RSC blocks in mostly yellow but a few other colors too. 

Wonky Windmills
8 inch finished
gray backgrounds

(aka Violet block)
8 inch finished
all floral scraps

Kaleidoscope Blocks
8 inch finished
yellow backgrounds and corners

Monkey Wrench
5 inch finished

4 inch finished

Indian Hatchet
4 inch finished

Happy Blocks
8.5 inch finished
(5 inch small animal print centers and 2.5 inch solid/tone on tone (tot) frames)

Happy Blocks
8.5 inch finished
(5 inch floral centers and 2.5 inch floral frames in same color)

Happy Blocks
8.5 inch finished
(TOT centers and 2.5 inch rainbow frames)

Wondering what the color will be for May...

And sew on...

CELEBRATE! (my word of the year)

April 24 - Beautiful weather! New things sprouting up and blooming in the gardens every day.

April 25 - Beautiful weather! Finally finished clearing out all the wild elderberry and honeysuckle in a patch near the house. 

April 26 - First time in about ten days I did not experience severe arthritis pain in my foot. 


Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Wednesday Wandering - Naturalizing Daffodils and Winter Sown Progress


I have several areas of the property where I've been naturalizing with daffodils since deer and rabbits don't seem to bother them.  This area is shaded by an old pear tree and near a wooded area we have fenced off and now let the neighboring farmer's cattle graze. When we first moved here over 30 years ago we planted a lot of trees in that wooded area because at that time our house was heated only by wood. 

I planted this area with miniature daffodil bulbs last year after I found a good deal on 100 bulbs. Of course the bulbs arrived in the fall one of those times my husband was in the hospital but I did manage to get them all planted in time for a glorious display this year.  Now hopefully the cute little daffodils will continue to multiply. It's a short walk from the house so good incentive to get a little exercise. 

This is another shady area divided up into little areas by stepping stones with a dying dwarf peach tree in the center of the area.  To the right and out of sight is our bean/corn field we contract out to the neighboring farmer.  Bordering the field a lot of scrub trees like mulberries and honeysuckle have sprung up and we have not been able to keep them under control since kids left home and hubby got cancer. I go along and trim out most new bushes. Well, anyway, the north winds have given a lot of those old mulberries a big push right into some of my flower gardens.  I made the best of this old mulberry that fell many years ago. I thought it looked like a nice place to sit and rest and enjoy the scenery. When I sit on that fallen tree branch I am surrounded by a lot of shade loving plants. If I look farther in front of me there is a cottage garden and to the left and across a wide grass path is a cutting garden.    

Right now the lightly scented miniature daffodils are in bloom along with a few fritillaria and muscari and wild violets.  

Back on Feb. 4 I celebrated winter sowing.  I showed this picture and wrote: "Also the last few days I've been celebrating Winter Sowing. You can Google to find more info on winter sowing. I've been doing it for years.  So far I've sown seeds of several different Larkspurs and Delphiniums, Love Lies Bleeding, Forget-Me-Nots, Verbena Hostata, Cowslip, Wild Primrose, Sea Holly, Snapdragons, a couple of different columbines, a couple of different Foxgloves, Butterfly Weed, Rattlesnake Master, Hoary Vervain, Borage and Jacob's Ladder.  I will probably post more about this in some future Wednesday Wandering posts.  If my packet has a lot of seeds I sow in milk jugs otherwise I sow in 4 inch pots. "

Well, all these months later here's what my 4 inch pots hold now - sprouts. Most of these seeds were very tiny and sown on the surface of the soil. 

The seeds I sow in the milk jugs are larger seeds and here's what's in the jugs now. 
I already have leaf lettuce, spinach and mustard greens sown in the veg garden.In the milk jug I started several different butterhead type lettuces I want to grow into little heads. I hope to separate and plant those out into the veg garden today or tomorrow. I'll put a row cover over them so the groundhog, rabbits and deer don't feast on the lettuce before I do.   

In the cutting garden I noticed that this year that last year's larkspur reseeded itself and I have a lot of larkspur sprouts. Before I saw those sprouts I was doing an experiment by planting larkspur seeds in milk jugs in Feb. and then planting larkspur in the garden in early April to compare growth. The milk jug sprouts are ready to plant out and the seeds planted in the garden are just now coming up. 

And I have sprouts in all of the other milk jugs too. Oh joy! 
So, if you don't have a lot of room in the house to plant seeds you might want to Google "winter sowing".   I've been doing it for years. 

And sow on...

CELEBRATE! (my word of the year)

April 21 - Finished reading The Thirteenth Child by Mark deMeza -- a WWII historical novel based upon a true story. It takes place in the Netherlands during Nazi occupation.  The weird thing is that I was reading in the book about the Amsterdam General Strike of 1941  that took place in opposition to the round up of Jews at about the same time I was reading the news of Pro-Palestinian protestors shutting down major roads in the U.S. 

April 22 - Earth Day! I dug into the earth and planted gladioli bulbs - about 100 of them. Here in Iowa we have to plant them in spring and dig them up in the fall. 

April 23 - I saw a Painted Lady butterfly. Painted Ladies remind me of my deceased granddaughter, Kayla. I celebrated her life with a Painted Lady butterfly release in the county park the summer after she passed away. 

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Bramble Blooms QAL - Second Border Added

Bramble Blooms #1
52 x 56

This is the first quilt top in a series of 3 in a quilt along hosted by Audrey at Quilty Folk. 

The second border prompt is "Put together a border that includes adding 4-patch, 9-patch, 16-patch or even larger patchwork blocks. You can set your blocks side by side {continuous block layout} or 'on point'. This border can be any width you like. It does not need to have the patchwork blocks throughout--use as few or as many patch blocks as you think will look good!"

Before I added my sixteen patch blocks I added a multicolor green coping border to bring it up to a width and length divisible by 2 since I was going to be using 2 inch (finished) squares and QSTs in my sixteen patch blocks.  

Since the base colors I chose to use for all the Bramble Blooms series of quilts are orange and lime green (mostly scraps) and since the accent color I added to use in my Bramble Blooms quilt #1 is purple those are the colors I used for my sixteen patch blocks.   

I decided to make QSTs since they looked kind of like butterflies and I had appliqued butterflies in the first border. I decided to use mostly lime green for the squares and in all the QSTs because I had a lot of lime green 2.5 inch width scraps I could use that were leftover from making Anvil blocks

I don't usually audition anything. I usually just think of something in my mind and go for it. I don't have a design wall.  If I did I would never like anything I see, second guess myself and dither my time away. 

So it is always fun to see how the top looks when I hang it out on the line for photos. 

I think I want this to be a little longer and was thinking of taking off the corner stones and just adding another row of sixteen patches to top and bottom but for now I am going to leave it as is and wait until I finish Bramble Blooms #2 and #3 tops to make a decision. 

CELEBRATE! (my word of the year)

April 19 - Asparagus! I have a prolific little patch and I have been eating asparagus every day in some form or another.  I love it roasted with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. I use the leftovers chilled in a salad of spring greens, goat cheese, candied pecans and cranberries with balsamic vinegar dressing. A few times I've added leftover chicken breast slices to the salad. I've had a few fritattas with asparagus and tonight I'm having cream of asparagus soup. 

April 20 - A little surprise package of fabric scraps. Oh, happy day! 


Friday, April 19, 2024

Another Wonky Log Cabin Top

Wonky Log Cabin Top
45 x 54

Strings and Things is the theme in my sewing space this month. This is the third top I've finished so far. I was hoping to empty out more of my string boxes by now but some of life's events have prevented me from doing much sewing lately. 

For this one I used brown and blue strings with orange 2 inch centers. 

When I started out making the blocks I was thinking I would make a set of 48 - 9 inch blocks for a twin sized quilt but I noticed a lot of the blue strings were novelties for kids so made a set of 30 blocks instead. 

And sew on...

CELEBRATE! (my word of the year)

April 14 - My sister's 70th birthday!  And National Gardening Day! And it was a beautiful day to putz around in the garden and to enjoy Daffodils that have naturalized in a couple different areas. (More on that later. I was going to do a Wednesday Wandering post but never got around to it. Maybe next Wednesday?)

April 15 - A lady from the foster care group where I donated quilts dropped off two small boxes of scraps - one of flannels and one of novelties. 

April 16 - Grocery shopping. Treated myself to Haagen Daz coffee almond toffee crunch bars. I won $1 off of this month's free Iowa lottery ticket.  And I'm so glad I made corn filled heat/ice packs for everyone for Christmas a long long time ago. I've been using mine frozen for 20 minutes several times a day for a very painful arthritis flare up in my foot. 

April 17 - Finished the second and third books in the Murphy Shepard series by Charles Martin. I read The Water Keeper several years ago. The second and third books are The Letter Keeper and The Record Keeper.   One can only hope there are real life heroes like the fictional ones who rescue children from sex slavery. 

April 18 -- A surprise package of fabric! Oh joy!


Sunday, April 14, 2024

It's A Top! Wonky Log Cabin

Wonky Log Cabin
It's a top!
42 x 56

This month the theme in my sewing space is Strings and Things. So far I've worked with bright strings and finished one twin sized top.   Continuing on with bright strings I made 14.5 inch Wonky Log Cabin blocks. 

For the centers I used multicolor on black 4 inch squares. They are left over from many long ago I Spy swaps. 

Most of the strings are from quilt back trimmings or yardage end cuts that are wonky or less than 1.5 inches wide.  I rarely do any cutting to make strings...they just happen.  When I was making the last top with bright strings I set aside any fun kid strings for this quilt. 

I spy...

And sew on...

CELEBRATE! (my word of the year)

April 11 - My refrigerator quit working on April 10. I was able to save the contents because I have a chest freezer and another refrigerator out in the breezeway. I shopped online for a new one, saw they had two in stock so ran into the store to purchase one of them. I hate shopping but thankfully because of my online research I was in and out of the store in no time with a new side by side to be delivered April 13. When I got home I saw FedEx had delivered my Dinnerplate Dahlia bulbs I ordered as a treat for myself a long time ago. 

April 12 - I received a surprise package with some fat quarters and larger pieces of yardage. That was a wonderful ending to a stressful day. I moved my sewing machine and all the other things I moved upstairs to be near hubby back downstairs to my sewing room. I also had to move furniture out of the way to clear a pathway for refrig delivery. I also had to move out and unplug old refrig and figure out how to turn off water hookup for ice machine. Then I measured to be sure old and new refrigerators  would fit through doorways so I would not have to remove doors or anything. Delivery folks evidently don't do that.  After an exhausting day I almost cried when I received that surprise package. 

April 13 - I had the best delivery guys ever! I mentioned that I had to make sure old and new refrig would fit through doorways. The info I received mentioned that if appliance does not fit through doors the delivery folks would just leave me with my old refrig and drop new one off in the garage.  Well, when I measured I forgot to include the handles of my old refrig in the measurement. Ugh. So delivery guy said he would have to leave me with my old refrig. and he would bring in the new one. I asked him if he knew how the handles came off and he said he couldn't help me with that. He further explained that the policy had just changed a short time ago due to a complaint and he was very sorry. I was going to get a hammer and just break the handles off at that point. Meanwhile he said they were going to unload and bring in the new one that would fit through the door because handles were not on it. I went to look online as to how to take handles off my model of refrig but internet was not working. Ugh! I felt like crying. And actually I may have. Then suddenly one of the delivery guys came back in with an electric screwdriver, said nothing, and took off my old refrig handles then they hauled out my old refrig and brought in the new. When it came time to hook back up the water line to refrig they said they didn't do that. I was confused because the store said they would do that (but delivery is contracted out to a different company) and made me buy a new line because they said delivery and installation would not use old lines. I thought I actually paid to have them deliver and install.  So, I went to get my pliers to hook things up myself using the old line since new line would have to be threaded behind cupboards to under the sink. Delivery guy grabbed pliers from me and went ahead and hooked up water for me and waited for me to turn it back on and make sure everything worked okay. I gave both guys a small tip and they thanked me and said that made their day since they both really needed that. And I thanked them and told them they don't know how much I appreciated them helping me out when they really weren't supposed to. I'm not really a huggy type person but I felt like giving them both a hug right then and there. But I didn't. I just told them thank you, thank you for their kindness (doing what they weren't supposed to do for me) and told them they were the best and wished them a wonderful rest of their day.