Monday, December 29, 2014

The Great 30s Bin Busting Challenge

A bunch of us with the Stashbusters Yahoo Group who have an excess of 30s fabrics in our stash will work on reducing that stash in 2015.  I'm starting out the year with two 58 quart totes of 30s fabric but I do have several 30s projects  (aka UFOs)  already in the works. 

Here's a new Road to Lampasas 15 inch block.  I need to count how many of these I have now.  It will be a Queen-sized quilt. 

With some of the same fabrics I tried out a block for a new quilt- Tea Leaf Quartet . I like it so some of my 30s will now go into the making of this quilt. 

With some of the same fabrics and some scraps I made 3 - 9 inch Tulip blocks to add to my collection.  I really need to count how many I have since I've been making these for a couple of years. 

And finally...I made a 15 inch Goose in the Pond block.  And...ooooops! that I see the photo I see the lower left corner was assembled incorrectly.  I thought there was something weird about it.  Well, I'll fix it. But anyway...this is another quilt I'm starting to bust my 30s. I was thinking I would use all yellow as the background but it seems rather bright even to me. We shall see what a few more blocks look like together. Then I can always just use red, yellow and blue solids for the backgrounds if I don't like the plain yellow. 

And now for a little whining...
My sewing machine is broken now. Hand wheel won't turn. It's like the darned machine is stuck in bobbin-winding mode. Arghhhh.  I hope it can be repaired. My DH will take it in to the sewing shop today (if they are open) while I'm at work.  I dug my old, old Kenmore out of the attic and dusted if off in case I can't do without a sewing fix while the Janome is in the shop. 

And that's it for Design Wall Monday here.  

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Pickle Dish Hand Quilting

I started hand quilting the arches and the melon shape in the middle.  I stitch in the ditch around the melon and then again an eye-balled quarter inch inside the melon.   I then stitch an eye-balled quarter inch inside all around on every other "pickle" on the arch. 

I think I have about half of the melon/arch combos finished. 

I'm not sure how I'm going to quilt the four patches or the burgundy flower sections. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014


It's ALMOST a top. 
I need to add a colorful crumb border. I hope it will look like those little kaleidoscope pieces before they form designs. 
I used crumbs in the corners of each 12 inch kaleidoscope block so that's why I'm going to add the it will get rid of some of those itty bitty scraps. 

This is one of the projects I worked on for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Each month I made a block out of the color of the month, the color of the month plus the previous month and the color of the month plus its color complement.  

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2015 is about ready to start.  If you've got scraps and want to use them up then join us in 2015.  I've seen a lot of gorgeous and inspiring scrap quilts in progress. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Pickle Dish Ready for Hand Quilting

Pickle Dish is a top!

I followed the pattern in Kaffe Fassett's book Quilt Romance. 

This will be a wedding quilt for one of my granddaughter's hope chest.  She just turned 10 so I have plenty of time for hand quilting.  (At least I hope I have plenty of one really knows these things for sure). 

I started a little bit of hand quilting on it last night.  Well, the thread I bought is machine quilting not hand quilting so I think it is 30 wt instead of 20 wt so I had a difficult time threading the needle. I guess I'll have to change the size needle I use.  To start with I'm going to stitch inside the line on every other pickle in the arches.  The thread I'm using matches the maroon? burgundy? color in that background fabric. 

Slow Sunday Stitching? 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Don't Count on It

 This year for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge I've made 5 inch Monkey Wrench blocks. 
I'm setting them on point and started sewing them together a few weeks ago.

I wanted to sew rows with 1-23 blocks.   I started at both ends and am now up two rows of 17 blocks. 

Getting ready for a row of 19 blocks I glanced at my box of remaining blocks and it didn't appear I had enough for two rows of 19, two rows of 21 and two rows of 23.  No, I didn't.   I figured I needed 288 blocks and have been counting as I've made them. At year end I THOUGHT I had 273 so made 15 more blocks before I started sewing the diagonal rows.    Either I figured incorrectly, I don't know how to count, I counted blocks twice a few times or I've lost some. 

So, don't count on this one being finished this year. 

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, Where Have You Been?

Cat Houses
63 x 80
Hand quilted around windows and between buildings
Machine quilted loops and stars on my DSM. 

When I saw the August Block Lotto Little Windows block I immediately thought of putting cats in the windows.  

This quilt is for my youngest son, aged 30, who has loved cats since he was a little boy. We live in the country and people often abandon their cats and they show up at our barn that serves as a cat bed and breakfast.   All of the cats used to follow him around like he was head cat. They waited with him each morning for the school bus and somehow knew when he would be home because they would line up in the gravel drive way shortly before the school bus arrived.   He would spend hours on end out in the barn playing with the cats in the summer and my husband and I used to joke that he was spending way too much time in the cat house.  So this Cat House quilt is for him. 

There are cat pole dancers. 

A Cat House called Cattywampus. 

A Cat House called Catty Corner.

A Cat House full of pink cats called The Pink Pussy. 

And a Cat House called The Cat's Meow. 

For the night sky I used glow-in-the-dark thread. 

A few notes on glow thread...I've used it before for machine quilting but forgot I never wanted to do it again.  The Superior NiteLite brand glows better and comes in many colors but I didn't have any white on hand so I used...

...the Coats brand. 

Both brand fray and knot and so are very frustrating to machine quilt any large area. 

There are some free-pieced words of advice on the back along with some cat scraps and some black and white gingham I found at the thrift store. 

This was my December finish for a Lovely Year of Finishes.  (#52 at the Goal Setting Party). 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Every Once in a While I Need a Quickie

Four reversible fabric bags I've made to use as gift wrap. 

I've made several chicken themed ones and mailed them off already. The bag can be used as a fabric grocery bag.  The contents of the chicken themed bags include at the least a chicken hot pad, chicken embroidered dish towel and crochet dish rag. 

The Super Heroes and Monster High bags will have gifts in them for the Grand Kids. 
Guess what the gifts are! 

I've made a few more pillowcases using the hot dog method.  One of the pizza themed ones will go to my youngest son who is 30.  I think his diet consists mostly of pizza so he probably really has pizza stains on the pillowcase he uses now.  There are just some things a mother doesn't really want to know. 

I've made everyone else's pillowcases throughout the year so the extra pizza and cookie cases will go into my gift stash box. You never know when you will need a quick gift. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Slow Sunday Stitching

I still need a couple of chicken dishtowels to go with the chicken hotpads I made a few weeks ago.  
I'm so tired after having the grandkids here yesterday that I think some slow stitching is about all I'll finish today.  We made Christmas cookies, they painted ornaments and decorated my tree with all the handmade ornaments of years past.  If I don't finish these towels today I'll probably take them with me to work to stitch on during my lunch break. 

I finished hand quilting in the ditch around windows and between buildings on my cat house quilt.  This is a Christmas gift so I need to get it finished but I have until Christmas morning to finish so what's the hurry?  

I've done the embroidery for the neon signs that will get appliqued to the buildings.  Then I need to machine quilt the sky with some stars, add the binding and I'll have a finish. 

I need to get another quilt ready for hand quilting. Hmmmm, which will it be? 

Slow Sunday Stitching? 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

I Think I Have Enough Blocks Now

I now have 43 - 12 inch Kaleidoscope Blocks.  I only need 42. That rainbow one was an after thought  and it kind of sticks out so I might not use it. But, you never know. 

I've been making these out of scraps as one of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2014 projects.  Each month I've made a block out of the color of the month, color of the month plus it's complement and color of month plus previous month.  This month I had to free form it and let my scraps dictate.  I've used crumbs for the corners and want to use crumbs for a border.  I'm hoping when all is said and done the crumbs will kind of look like those little kaleidoscope pieces before they form a beautiful design. 

Stay Tuned for a Finish Next Year of this and some of my other RSC 2014 projects. 

Is Anyone Finishing a Rainbow Project? 
You'll have to find out for yourself with a visit to ScrapHappy Saturday, a weekly RSC link. 

Oh, and got scraps?  Think about joining RSC 2015. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

I Guess I Know What I'll Be Making With My Valentine Fabrics

It finishes at 20.5 inches. 
I followed my own directions and not the directions in the tutorial. 

I'm trying to figure out what to make with all my different collections of themed fabrics.  Then I make a block before I forget. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

And Then There's the 30s Reproduction Scraps

I use most of my scraps in Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects. 

But, for some reason, I keep my 30s and Civil War Reproduction fabric scraps separate. 

One of the projects I work on when I have accumulated several 1.5 inch scraps is  String Stars.  The green is Kona Spring which reminds me of the green my grandma used in her quilts.  

When I first started making these I was sewing four blocks together but stopped that practice so my scraps were more distributed throughout the assembled star blocks. 

I'm going to make at least a Double/Queen sized quilt so it may be awhile before this quilt is completed. 

With my 2.5 inch 30s scraps I've made a couple of Ocean Waves blocks following instructions on Quilter's Cache; however, I substituted 2.5 inch HSTs for the 3.5 inch... my blocks are smaller. The white is unbleached muslin.  And, again, since I like big quilts, this will be a Double/Queen sized quilt before all is aid and done.

Both quilts will probably be hand quilted since I've found I rather enjoy that these days. 

And that's it for my Scraptastic Tuesday. 

Scraptastic Tuesday

Also linking up to:
 Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River (just down river from me).
Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Digging into the Civil War Reproductions

I have a big bin of civil war reproduction fabrics (well, I threw it in there if I thought it  was a cw fabric) that I need to reduce before I die (which I hope is not any time soon because I have lots of other bins to reduce too). 

While looking around for a pattern I liked I somehow happened upon a picture of a  Blind Man's Fancy quilt. I loved it.  Then I did a search and found more pictures that I loved and then I found  a pattern for a 15 inch block.   So I made a couple of blocks just to see if I would still like it.   And I do. 

And then, since I was in civil war fabric mode I made a few more swapped  6 inch nine patches into 10 inch Sister's Choice blocks. 

And then besides the bins of fabric there's the scraps from previous projects that need to be used up.  This bag is all 2.5 inch scraps. I've kept them separate because I'll probably make nine patches with them.  I don't mix and match my civil war fabrics with other scraps because civil war fabrics are pretty snobby and frown upon those novelty fabrics I seem to use quite frequently. 

This drawer has scraps of sizes other than 2.5.   I think I'll cut the 2 inch, 4 and 6 inch scraps into 2 inch squares.   I don't want to waste any 1/2 inch pieces of fabric cutting 2 inch squares so that's why I'll pick out even numbered scraps.  Yes, I'm cheap  frugal. 

At the beginning of the year there will be a swap on Block Swappers Yahoo Group of 12 inch Sunny Lane blocks.  (Hey, if you have civil war fabrics and/or scraps it's not too late to join in.) At first I didn't really like the block by itself but  when the blocks are sewn together the white (Kona Snow) lanes form a pattern in the background that I kind of like.   Plus I can use up some scraps making my blocks.   For the swapped blocks I'll strip piece. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Cat Houses

I'm working on getting Cat Houses quilted by Christmas. 
The sky above the houses will be quilted on my DSM. 
I'll use glow in the dark thread and quilt loops and stars. 

Right now I'm hand quilting around the little Cat House windows and between all the buildings.  
I want them to kind of poof out a bit plus I don't want much stitching on this part of the quilt because I have some big words on the back that I didn't want to obscure with a lot of quilting. 
(And I'm hand quilting in the ditches because you don't want to see how stitch in the ditch looks when I try it on my sewing machine). 

Before all is said and done I will also add some signs to the Cat Houses that will be hand embroidered in neon embroidery thread. 

My December goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes is to get this lap quilt finished up for gift giving. 

And, since I'll be hand quilting this fine Sunday (and Monday and Tuesday...) I'm linking up to

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Time to Finish

January through November of this year I've been making Kaleidoscope blocks as one of my projects for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.    Each month I made a block in the color of the month, a block in the color of the month plus the previous month and a block of the color of the month plus its complement. 

And I've been using crumbs for the corners. 

I now have 36 - 12 inch kaleidoscope blocks. 

December is the month to finish up some of our RSC projects. 

I want 42 blocks for a 6 x 7 layout.  So, I need 6 more blocks.  I've looked through my bigger scraps for some fabric combinations for those six extras. 

Here's 2  blocks I made this morning to add to the pile. Two down...four to go. 

And I'm THINKING I will add a 4 inch crumby border.  Not sure I like the straight lines so I'm going to hunt around my sewing room for that bag of wonky and waste HSTs.  I think the triangle crumbs will look more like those little kaleidoscope pieces look before they form a design.