Sunday, November 29, 2015

Testing, Testing...

Last summer I was working on my 1718 Coverlet and discovered there is a lot of hand piecing involved with some very weird shapes. I quickly found out that I need more (since I don't have any at all)   hand piecing experience before I can go any further on it. 

I thought a project where I repetitively piece the same pieces over and over again might give me some experience.   This was my first attempt at a Jen Kingwell pattern and, as you can see, my flower needs a little work.  I'm going to keep it but give another one a try. 

This is the book I'm using and this is how the flowers are supposed to look. 

For this first attempt I just used paper templates. I did not add the 1/4 seam allowance to the template. I traced around it on the back of the fabric in pencil and just eyeballed the 1/4 seam allowance when I cut out the shapes. Then I attempted to line up the pencil lines and stitch together on the lines.  I found my eyeballs don't know what 1/4 seam allowance looks like and that it was too difficult to keep those curved pencil lines matched up.    

So, I'm going to make two sets of cardboard templates. One set will be the template without the seam allowance and the other set will be with the seam allowance so when I draw on the back of the fabric I will have two pencil lines and maybe those curves will match up a little better. 

If that works out then I will have a new project to work on during my lunch break. I normally like to go out for lunch but not during the winter when it is cold and there is snow on the ground. So, a portable project is in order.    

And I've always got my circles to work on.  I blanket stitch around the edges. I usually catch up on them on Sundays. I've been making them faithfully since Nov. 4  I write in the white space something to do with the day.   This is my Black Friday circle.. "No Black Friday deals for me. I hate shopping and I especially hate shopping when there are crowds." If you want to know more about the circles project see the Quilty 365 link on the sidebar. 

I've been screwing around with my new laptop all day (windows 10 to replace old XP) and the graphics card is giving me fits otherwise I'd have a lot of Slow Sunday Stitching completed by now. But I guess I have the rest of the day. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Green 2.5

I was looking through my Rainbow Scrap Challenge box of projects and found my bag of Crackers.  Well, way back when dark/bright green was the color of the month I thought I made all my green crackers. NO, I cut scraps for green crackers but I didn't actually make them. And no fairy came along and surprised me with finished Crackers either.  So...

... I ended up making 55 six inch green crackers.  (Yes, I can count...I just didn't feel like showing all of them to you because I was too lazy to stick them to the batting on my propped up cutting mat).  And then I also noticed red cut pieces in the same bag so I finished up some red crackers too. 

Now I think I can start assembling them into a quilt.  I decided to join four blocks of the same color together like so. sash or not to sash...that is the question. 

On another note I think I want to make a Pyramid quilt with my scraps in 2016. I followed a tutorial on the Molly Flanders blog.   I'm not sure how many of these units I will need...maybe a couple thousand???

And those waste triangles from those Crackers??? I sewed them on to the corners of some blue 2.5 inch scraps and made some little four inch butterfly blocks.  Have I mentioned I love butterflies???? 

Got Scraps???

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Feeling Flaky

I was off today and will be off the rest of the week.  I made my bread and will be making my pies in a minute. The kids, kids in laws, and grandkids will all be here tomorrow to give thanks. I'll be serving up lots of goodness from this year's garden. 

Our record snow of 9.9 inches this weekend and some snowmen have all but disappeared due to today's warmer temperatures. 

The snow reminded me that I was going to make snowflakes out of snowflake fabrics for a quilt I've had running around in my head for awhile. 

Actually, this is the Spoke block pattern from Block Lotto but I'm using it as a snowflake. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


All year long I make 40 x 60 quilts from orphan blocks, crumbs, strings and other scraps.  I use my batting scraps in these quilts too. I zig zag them together.  I add them to a box and sometimes I take out of the box and give one or two away locally. My daughter is friends with a foster mother and sometimes the quilts go to the new kids in the home.  (My daughter always knows someone who needs a quilt. Pity she doesn't sew.) 

At the end of the year whatever is left I send off to Quilts Beyond Borders or Wrap A Smile. 

I consider these quilts in improvise...use what's on pattern...

I've blogged about them all individually all year long so most of them, if you are a regular visitor, are old news. 

40 x 60

I practiced free motion quilting leaves. 

And I pieced a backing with scraps and a big piece of horse themed fabric I found at the thrift store for $1.00. 

All of these quilt backs came from the thrift store except for one which is the aqua with navy polka dots second in from the right.   That was a bargain basement purchase. that's my version of in improvise.   I guess I could be otherwise considered impRoverished! 
There are lots of interpretations for improv. 
Visit either Ann's blog, Fret Not Yourself  OR Kaja's blog, Sew Slowly,  and you will see what I mean...A bunch of Ad Hoc Improv quilters hang out there at the end of every month.  

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Still Working On It And Probably Will Be For Awhile

I've finished big stitch hand quilting on all of the "flower" parts of my super-sized Flowering Snowball quilt. 

And now it's time to work on the "snowballs". 

I couldn't decide what to quilt in the snowball sections. I originally thought I would add some simple circles. After all...more complex quilting designs don't show up very well with big stitches. But then I thought maybe a flower would be nice in the snowball sections. I almost, almost went with the one on the right...

...but finally decided to go with a vintage template from a box of old quilting things my daughter found long ago at a garage sale. 

The flower may not show up all that well with the big stitching but I think it will give me just the right amount of poofiness in those areas after the quilt is washed. 

(Speaking of snowballs...I awoke to eight inches of snow yesterday morning.)

I'm joining the other Slow Sunday stitchers at Kathy's Quilts for a virtual sewing bee. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

And Now There Are Forty-four

I finished the last four versions of green Dresdens.  
I've been making Dresdens each month from scraps during this year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge. 
I didn't make any green Dresdens in the last dark/bright green month so I've made 8 this month to catch up. 
Each month I made four following these rules:
1. 13 inch gray background (4.5 inch scraps for wedges)
2. polka dot centers surrounded by gray rickrack
3.  one in the color of the month
4. one in the color of the month plus color complement
5. one in color of the month plus b/w
6. one in the color of the month plus w/b.

And now there are forty-four Dresden blocks. I think I'll make five more and lay them out 7 x 7 for a large quilt. 

Got scraps?
Use them up and show us how each ScrapHappy Saturday. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Peacock Feathers

Not your normal grandmother's fan blocks. 
I had to make a couple of blocks in order to remember what I was going to do with some peacock fabrics. 
There will be sashing between blocks like the fabric in the fan base. 

Ok. So that's enough to help me remember what I had in mind next time I come across these fabrics. 
More later...

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Has Anyone Seen The Elusive Quilt Back Bird? She Left Me Some Feathers!

A Flimsy of Feathers
Not a quilt yet. Just a top. 
72 x 90

I was looking for something different for string scraps and this fit the bill. I used the long pieces trimmed from quilt backings for the feathers. 

I don't normally buy a lot of yardage when I buy fabrics but I've had this feather fabric for awhile.  I think it was on the table at Hancock's when they marked all the Spot the Bolt fabrics down to $3.98 per yard. Plus I think it was senior day so I got a 25% discount off of that.  I thought it was pretty ugly when I bought it and I thought if nothing else I would use it on the back of quilts.   I like it now. 

So, have you seen the elusive Quilt Back bird? I think that wild and crazy bird left me with some feathers. 

Linking to:

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Green 4.5

I didn't make any green Dresden blocks back in May when green was the RSC color of the month. So this month I have to make 8 green Dresdens. 
Here's my green with b/w and green with w/b. 
Next week I hope to have the green plus complement and only green blocks finished. 

I've been using up 4.5 inch scraps on these. 

And speaking of 4.5 inch scraps...I decided to make a few green flying geese.   I used my EZ angle rulers to cut these.  I think I'll make these next year. Not sure what I'll do with them. It will come to me later. 

Got Scraps? 
Join us each ScrapHappy Saturday and show us what you've done with them. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

A Flimsy of Tulips

In 30s reproduction fabrics and Kona Snow
81 x 91
For now it's just a top. 

Blocks are nine inches
Not sure when or how it will get quilted.  But it's a top now after all these years. Can't top that!

(The sun was not in the right spot when I took the photos. Well, on second thought, the sun was in the right spot - in the sky. I just don't know how to take photos. So they look sort of sepia-ish).

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

X & +

A nine inch X and + block is the block of the month at Block Lotto. 
I love this block and am hoping that by making a lucky 7 blocks my name will be drawn as a winner. 

Back in 2012 I made a quilt with a six inch (and more unstructured or scrappier) version of the block.

72 x 79
I Love Cherries (aka Hi-Ho Cherrio after the game of same name that I also used to love)

I'm thinking I would really like another with a nine inch version of the block. Fingers crossed that I win! I haven't had a win this year yet. 

Making an Orphan Block, Etc Quilt

Orphan Blocks, etc
40 x 60
It's just a top right now. 
After I piece some batting and piece a backing and get it quilted it will be donated. 

This is about as "improv" as I get. 

I had a box I had been throwing some fall themed orphans and scraps into. 

I had some 12 inch orphan blocks - one a Sunshine Online Quilt Guild lotto block win and the other three swapped blocks I didn't really care for. 

And a couple more 12 inch orphans and  some four inch 4 patches...

...and a few more orphan blocks of various sizes...

...and some 6 inch leaves I was going to use for a border on a fall themed quilt that's in my past but I didn't like these blocks or like a border so here they are...

...triangle blocks that are very wonky that I tried out for Block Lotto and rejected and some flower blocks I was going to swap but the centers were too large, if I remember correctly, a pinwheel leftover from a "Patches and Pinwheels" quilt I made long ago and a nice fall themed block with blue background I received in an anything goes swap long long ago and never used...

...and some swapped 6.5 inch pieces that I'm not fond of and some bits and pieces like waste triangles I sewed together long ago...

...and some brown scraps I received (long ago) from Carol E of Sunshine Online Quilt Guild to use in a donation quilt...

...and some mostly 2 inch pieces leftover from the making of my "Tree of Life" blocks...

...and some 2.5 inch long pieces of quilt backing leftovers.   Those are the ingredients. 

I kind of have a couple of basic "templates" for orphan block quilts that end up 40 x 60.  With this one I wanted to have three panels 12 x 48 with 2.5 inch strips joining the panels and top and bottom 6.5  x 40.5  inch top and bottom borders. 

I don't have a design wall. I don't really think I need one. I prop my 18 x 24 inch cutting mat against the wall and cover it with a piece of batting.  Or I throw things on the floor.   

Anyway, for my panels I start with the largest blocks and divide them into three piles and then add to those with the other bits and pieces. 

After I have a center panel made I add the 2.5 inch strips to each side of the center panel.  

Before I continue on with the other two panels I usually make the top and bottom borders. I try to make them out of the same type of pieces like the triangles here that I used for the bottom border and the four patches between strips I used for the top borders. 

And I showed to begin with... have a donation quilt top in no time at all. 

Yes, that's about as "improv" as I get. 

And since this used a whole heck of a lot of scraps this is my post for 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Quilty 365: Marginalia

Nov 4 - 8

I was thinking of ideas for a quilt journal project for next year and I was trying to decide on an applique project for next year and then up pops Audrey of Quilty Folk with Quilty 365.   

I'll call my project Marginalia. I'll be writing in the margins about daily life and the circle fabrics will depict something to go with the marginalia.  I've been blanket stitching with two strands of embroidery floss and writing in the margins with a pigma pen and ultra fine sharpie. 

I started right in because if I didn't I never would.