Monday, January 16, 2017

In The Hoop: Triangle Stars

Triangle Stars is now in the hoop.  
If I remember correctly this one is 54 x 72. 

I was going to start hand quilting my BIG Dresden quilt but when I got everything all laid out I found my pieced backing was about 2 inches too small. DARN!  The backing and batting I had pieced together for this one was just right.  So I'm now hand quilting this one. I always have to have something in the hoop or I fall asleep right after dinner.  I try to hand quilt the larger quilts in winter and the smaller ones (if any) in summer since I don't have air conditioning. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Vintage Butterflies: It's Finished!

Vintage Butterflies
79 x 90
Hand quilted

My inspiration was the above quilt I found when researching "vintage butterfly quilts" a few years ago.   This block is actually called Beggars Block.  The individual blocks within each block is actually a 3 inch spool block. 

I started making the individual 3 inch butterfly (or spool) blocks from 1.5 inch scraps as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project in late 2013 (I think).   When I accumulated 8 butterflies I made a block.  When I had enough blocks I made a quilt.  When you use scraps some quilts are not a quick make. 

I used Kona Candy Blue (blue candy?) as the background/sky. 

I normally don't lay out my blocks before I sew them together. I really don't like to spend time moving blocks around endlessly because no layout seems pleasing.    I don't have a big space to easily lay blocks out nor do I have a design wall (except for that old cutting mat with the piece of batting on it propped up on the wall next to the sewing machine).  So I usually sew blocks together randomly.  I'm rarely disappointed. 

I should never add sashing without cornerstones because sometimes things just get a little wonky. The good thing is that it all works out in the end somehow.  This quilt will give warmth same as a perfect one.  

I hand quilted in a variety of colors of regular quilting thread.  I didn't mark anything but the center butterflies. I just stitched. And stitched some more.  I have a callous on my "underneath finger" to prove it.   The stitching served as a kind of quilty yoga to soothe the soul, clear the mind and calm the nerves. 

After a good wash and some time in the dryer the quilt came out more crinkly than usual. I think that's because the backing fabric, a sheet from the thrift store,  was pre-washed and the fabrics on front were not.   Thank goodness I like crinkly. 

Now, about that backing. I found a sheet at the thrift store in a pale blue, in perfect condition and silky soft. Must be a far higher thread count than what is on my bed. I was a little leery about using a sheet on a quilt I was going to hand quilt because I wasn't sure how easy it would be to hand quilt. Not to worry...the needle went through it like a knife through butter.  And as a side benefit the back looks like a whole cloth quilt. It's difficult to get a good picture but all of the different colored threads on the pale blue are joyous. 

Lots of scraps in this one so linking up to:

And since it took a month of Sundays to hand quilt linking up with:

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Purple 2.5 Edition

Lady of the Lake
10 inch block
This week I worked with the purple 2.5 inch scraps.  I have a box of all different colors of strips of scraps 2.5 inches long.  They get in there various ways - I use other than scraps in a project that requires a 2.5 cut of fabric or I get to the end of a piece of fabric and all that's left is 2.5 inches and maybe a little string.  Anyway...I used up most of the purple in the 2.5 inch box because I actually have very little purple in my stash. 

I'm making Lady of the Lake blocks this year. Two of them will be made in light/dark RSC (Rainbow Scrap Challenge) color of the month and two of them will be color of the month plus a color analogous on the  color wheel- this time blue.  6.5 inch centers will be cut from chunk pieces (yes, I have a scrap chunk crate). 

I tried out this block last year when the color of the month was orange. I used yellow for analogous color.  Here's how some of the blocks look together so far. Yes, I like them. So, I will continue this year making Lady of the Lake blocks. 

Also last year when color of the month was orange I made a 12 inch ship block.  I belonged to a "birthday club" where members make a requested birthday girl's block of choice and sent it to birthday girl in her birthday month.    This ship block was birthday girl's choice. I found it easy to make and cute AND I have a piece of ship fabric perfect for backing what will be this baby sized quilt. I'm using a variety of blue backgrounds...may even add gray...don't know yet. 

Each month I'm going to see if I can move toward finishing any UFOs with scraps from the color of the month.  I won some six inch Split Nine Patch blocks last year from Block Lotto.  They were made in purple, gray and white tone on tones.   So I made a couple of blocks from scraps but actually had to cut some purple 2.5 inch pieces because these are made with tone on tones and most of my remaining purple scraps after making the above were NOT tone on tone. 

So now I think that brings me to 54 blocks and that will make a baby sized quilt.  I have a piece of purple to use as a border. 

Another Block Lotto win last year was six inch Birds in the Air blocks.  These blocks are made in tone on tone purples and blues with white.   So, since I made some new 2.5 inch scraps from making the above blocks I immediately used them to make six birds in the air blocks. I'm going to make a big quilt from these and will probably use blue tone on tones to make more blocks for this quilt. So watch for same blocks in RSC blue month. Otherwise you won't see these blocks again for ScrapHappy Saturday. Merely trying to move a UFO forward this month. 

6 x 13
I made the three sprouts on the left. The two on the right were made last year from my purple scraps. It's kind of fun to compare scraps from year to year.  I actually don't know where I'm going with these blocks so maybe I should figure that out now since these are rolling over from last year and I have different numbers of blocks in each scrappy color. 

Now I'm down to some miscellaneous blocks and parts. 
I made two eight inch Depression blocks. I've been making these for several years. I guess I should count the stack. I like big quilts so sometimes it takes awhile to get there when you make a few blocks each month from scraps.  But what's the hurry? 
The second row of blocks goes into the four inch parts department. Gosh, I have a big bag of 4 inch parts. I've been throwing things into there for years.   And the bottom row is a strip of wonky HSTs leftover from Lady of the Lake.  Usually I throw wonkies into the crumb pile but I decided to make a strip from them. I have "made strips" in various colors and sizes so will now add to them with hst strips.  Use to be determined later. 

Speaking of strips...I made one with the ends of some purple scraps. 
I also have been making triangles following the tutorial on Molly Flanders. I have a LOT of these. I guess I need to figure out the diagonal measurement of the quilt I want to make and then figure out how many of these things it takes sewn together to make that measurement. 

And that's the Purple 2.5 Scrap Edition. 
Got Scraps? 
 (a Rainbow Scrap Challenge link)

Friday, January 13, 2017

2017 Finish-A-Long: The Goals for First Quarter

It's time to declare some goals for 2017 Finish-A-Long.  I have so many UFOs it is always rather difficult to narrow them down.  

1.  Butterfly Garden - hand quilting is almost finished. Binding is made. 

2. and 3.  donation quilts - need to piece batting and find backings and get them quilted and bound. 
4.  Selvage quilt - want to make a big one but need more blocks first. 

5. and 6. More donation quilts in the top stages

7. Split Nine Patch - I won a bunch of blocks from Block Lotto in purples and grays. I need to make a few more blocks and then put it together. 

8.  Fractured. I call mine Frazzled. I'm stalled. I don't think I like that center column for some reason.  I will probably have to switch it out. This is made from scraps leftover from another quilt - can't remember which one right now. 

9.  I need a few more pieces for this one. I forget what the one in the book is called (I think Red Center) but it is from one of Kathy Doughty's (of Material Obsession) books. Mine is going to be a rainbow version and have something a little different for the center. 
10. Starz - This has been on my FAL list for several quarters. Maybe this time I'll actually finish it.  Blocks are from a long ago swap. 

11.  A really, really, really old Mystery Quilt.  I actually have it pin basted and ready to quilt on my DSM. 

12.  Rosebud. This was on my last FAL list but I haven't done a thing with it. And I'm not sure how I want to proceed. I need a few more blocks. This is going to be a big quilt. 

13. Spools. I am dithering about how to quilt it - hand quilt or machine quilt on my DSM. 

14. Snowflakes - Need a few more blocks and then some other things.  This will be a lap sized quilt - maybe 60 x 80? 

15. Dresdens.  I think this one will be next in the hoop for hand quilting.  Haven't decided upon backing yet. 

16. Baskets, Baskets.  Blocks from two different swaps and two different sizes. All are in 30s repros. I need to add some strips to the smaller blocks to bring them up to size of larger blocks. And I think I need to find where I put these blocks!

17. Sunny Lanes - swapped blocks in cw repros. I need to make more blocks. 

18. and 19. and 20. and 21. and 22.  -  5 ABC I Spy Quilts.  Two nieces and two nephews' wives are expecting babies this year. One of those nieces is having twins!  I just happen to have 5 sets of ABC - 6 inch blocks from swaps.   I've made several ABC quilts for other babies in the family and after these 5 quilts my ABCs will be wiped out. I guess I'll have to start swapping again. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Well, Most of Those Strings Aren't in the Scrap Bag Anymore

I have one row of String Stars completed. 
There's no place to lay out the entire long row so I had to take pics in sections. 

A few weeks ago those pale, neglected strings were stuck in this bag. Most are pieces cut from the sides of quilt backings so were rather long and I didn't have much variety but I'm making do and will see what happens. 

And a few weeks ago I was going to use a darker pink for a background but at the last minute I changed my mind.  

But I'm still moving forward.  

This is going to be very different from the bright strings on dark background that is on my bed now. I didn't think I would like these pale strings but they are growing on me.  At least they aren't entangling me or strangling me. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Have You Heard About Block Lotto?

Crumb Hearts - 8 inch
Each block is a lotto ticket and  now I have six chances to win a pile of blocks. 
Actually you are never a loser at Block Lotto. Even if you don't win a pile of blocks you may be able get rid of your scraps and send them on disguised as blocks to other winners, or you may learn new techniques, or you may have a little fun. You may even end up with a few new quilts. 
No monthly commitment required. 

How did I make my hearts? 
I pulled out a few red scraps which means they are scraps that are odd sizes - bits and pieces that don't go into my more standard sized strip bins. I call them crumbs. (At this time I further sorted out the heart/star themed crumbs for crumb butterflies WIP and another pile for autumn colored Pumpkin Peel that takes a scrap at least 3.5 or so inches long. ) The instructions for the  hearts call for 5 1/2 inch pieces so I sewed my crumbs into a strip about six inches wide as you can see above. 

Each block takes an 8.5 x 5.5 and a 3.5 x 5.5 piece of fabric so...
 I cut that strip into an 8.5 inch piece, a 3.5 inch piece, an 8.5 inch pieces, a 3.5 inch piece and so on until I ran out of made fabric. 

I further trimmed up those pieces so they were nice and tidy.  And then I made six hearts.  What a fun way to use crumbs! 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

RSC: Purple 3.5 Edition

Floribunda (Jacob's Ladder) is a UFO from 2011. These are nine inch blocks and take 3.5 inch pieces. I don't have many 3.5 inch scraps - maybe a shoe box full- so I cut fabrics for these blocks.  I'll make a few blocks in yellow and florals in the RSC color of the month and hopefully have enough blocks at year end for a big quilt.   After making these blocks I had more purple 3.5 scraps. 

Goose in the Pond

Goose in the Pond is another UFO from 2014. Strange that these 15 inch blocks are also on a yellow background (Kona Corn).  Since I don't have many blocks made for this UFO I guess that I can mix up that background. We'll see.   I've been using my 30s fabrics in this block. I have no 3.5 inch 30s scraps so I cut into yardage to make these blocks.  And after I made these blocks I had some more purple 3.5 inch scraps (and 1.5 inch scraps I put into the box for another 30s UFO that takes 1.5 scraps). 


After I made Floribunda blocks and Goose in the Pond blocks and pulled out any purple pieces from the 3.5 scrap box I cut pieces for my Glitter blocks and made some of those - my new RSC project this year. 

Snowballs, Bow Ties, Strips
From the remaining 3.5 inch scraps I made some 3 inch snowballs and some six inch bow tie blocks- new RSC projects for this year.   I also cut a few 3.5 inch squares (not shown) from the remaining small pieces to later be used in a donation quilt and if the scrap was less than 3.5 square then I sewed it into a strip as shown on the right.  Use to be determined later.  

And that ends the purple 3.5 scrap edition. 

Got Purple Scraps?