Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Path

My weekly 12 Drunkard's Path blocks. 
Hopefully this is not your path tonight or in life. 
Some of our family members past and present have suffered from alcoholism and drug addictions.  I am thankful I am not one of them. 

I do like to go off the beaten path. So instead of Drunkard's Path my quilt will be named 
Off the Beaten Path. 

96 out of 152 blocks completed! 

All my holiday visitors are gone now except for the grandkids who are celebrating New Year's with us tonight as they have every year since birth.  We will play some games after dinner and toot our party squawkers about nine o'clock since that is about the latest I can stay awake.

Happy New Year! 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Clarissa and Kathy Inspired

 Clarissa blocks #4 and #5

You know I love vintage quilts!

I'm  slowly (very slowly)  making these blocks. 
I now have 5 of them and have a long way to go.  I'm not in a hurry. 

Here's four of the five. 
Five don't make for a good picture and these barely fit on my cutting- mat -covered -with- batting -propped -against- the -wall - design-wall. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


After yesterdays easy peasy sewing for Cattywampus I felt ready for more difficult piecing which resulted in a couple of Sunflower blocks.  

I saw a vintage Russian Sunflower quilt a long time ago and loved it. I am pretty good at figuring out quilt blocks on a grid but I know circular blocks with points is beyond my figuring capacity. I also thought a Sunflower quilt was above my skill level and that I would never make or have a Sunflower quilt. 

Then I found that Treasury of Quilts by Betsy Chutchian and Carol Staehle had a pattern for a Sunflower quilt. I bought the book!  Now I'm kind of cheap  frugal so if I spend money on a quilting book I have to get my money's worth out of it, love most of the quilts in it and make several of the quilts in it.   This will be my second quilt from the book. (42 Cent Forever Stamp isn't quilted yet).   I was afraid to start right out with Sunflower. Now, about the book...I love the templates because they have the 1/4 inch seam allowance included on them.  A lot of the books I have make you add your own seam allowance. I hate that especially if the template is not square.   I also love the instructions in the book. They are thorough down to the direction to press the pieces and they are easy to understand.  So, even I, who thought I would never have something so complex looking as a Sunflower quilt can now have one.   

Ok...back to the Sunflowers.   I have not yet figured out what to do for the background.  (These will get appliqued to a 14. 5 inch background).   I have a large piece of dark brown I could use like you see above. 

I also have a large piece of tea dyed muslin I can use.   Or I could alternate dark brown and tea dyed backgrounds. 

Or each Sunflower could get it's own busy background.   I'm leaning toward this version but I don't think I have enough 14.5 inch pieces for 16 blocks.  

Decisions, decisions...

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Cattywampus: A Flimsy


It's a flimsy! 

45 x 60


My foot got tangled up in some strings hanging out of the bright long string box so I decided it was time to put the lid on it.  That meant I had to use some strings.   I cut some dark cat fabrics into 6.5 inch squares for the centers.   Then I sewed  some strings around long cabin style and I had a combination of Happy Block and Wonky Log.  I think Happy Wonkies sounds better than Happy Logs so that's what these blocks are.  And together in this quilt they are Cattywampus! 

I originally thought I was making 14 inch blocks but when I went to square them up I found them to be big enough for 15 inch blocks.  Then I figured out the block I was comparing them against for size while making them was not 14.5  inches like I thought but 15.5.   Sheesh!   And you know it took me longer to square up these  12 blocks than it did to make them?  Squaring up large blocks is not my favorite thing to do. 

 The lid is on the box now but that doesn't mean I won't trip over it.  And I see I probably have enough for another quilt this size in there.  Cat centers are cut and ready for Cattywampus II. 

I need to figure out what to do for a backing then get it quilted.   Then it will be donated. 

Fun over. I'm going to go clean inside the refrigerator since I couldn't convince my husband that it was his job. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Moving Forward...Maybe

 This Dots and Dashes Drunkard's Path is one of my oldest UFOs.  I worked on it from October - November 2014  - a Drunkard Path sew along with each person making their own version of a Drunkard's Path.  Sew along ended and I packed it all away. 

 I recently took a look at where I am with it.   A paper in the box said I have 72 (six inch) blocks and I'd like to have 224.  Okay.  No wonder it has stalled. 

I asked myself if I still wanted a big Drunkard's Path quilt.  And I answered myself, "yes". 
I asked myself if I thought I had enough polka dot and striped fabrics in my stash to make 152 more blocks. And I answered myself, "yes". 

Ok. Game on. 
When my sewing machine was in the shop a month or so ago I cut fabrics for more blocks. I cut these by hand because I don't do curves with a rotary cutter. In fact I barely cut straight lines with a rotary cutter. You should see all the nicks and scratches on my rulers.   Anyway...I have some pieces cut and that's a good thing because I don't enjoy cutting all that much.  I don't know how many blocks are cut...just a lot but probably not enough for 152 blocks. 

Yesterday I sewed up a few blocks. 

I made it through 12 blocks and I was tired of them. 

So I'll make 12 blocks a week and in about 13 weeks or so I'll have enough for a big quilt. 

Sounds like a plan. 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Still Playing Around With Gallimaufry

I love that the vintage one is scrappy and has a chain working through it plus it has so many secondary patterns going on - variation of Diamond in Square, Old Maid's Puzzle, Bow Tie, Broken Dishes, Four patch, Shoofly.

If anyone knows the name for this four patch variation block I would appreciate it.  I'm calling my quilt, if it ever gets made, Gallimaufry. 

My first attempt at making blocks is the BOTTOM photo of blocks made from 1.5 inch HSTs and squares and 2.5 inch squares which results in a four inch (finished) block.  I was pretty happy with the blocks but wasn't really sure you could make out all of the secondary patterns like the bow ties, for instance. 

My second attempt at making blocks is the TOP photo of blocks made from 2.5 inch HSTs and squares and 4.5 inch squares which results in an eight inch (finished) block.  I made the HSTs in the same color as the four inch square it is connected to in order to be able to see the bow ties better.  I also limited the colors to autumn colors thinking maybe the chains through the quilt might remind me of a path through the autumn woods. 

I'm not sure I like bigger blocks in this case. The smaller blocks will allow a lot more secondary patterns to emerge in a large quilt.   I think I will go back to my original plan to use 1.5 and 2.5 inch scraps BUT I will make the blocks in autumn color/value scraps and try to remember to match the color of the HSTs to the larger square in the four patch block so the secondary pattern of bow ties can be seen better.  Or, is that really necessary?  I actually can see the bow ties in my first attempt if I look hard enough. 

Now that I have a definite plan all of the eight inch blocks and a couple of those four inch blocks will go into the orphanage. 

Playing around with scraps? 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Back in Season - Making Ornaments

While I was waiting for the granddaughters to wake up this morning I made some quilt blocks with Halloween fabrics.     After they woke up and had breakfast we  they started making ornaments.  This year they made angels. 

Now I'm back with the right season! 

I started making ornaments with my own kids when they were about two.  I started the same tradition with the grandkids when they were about two.  My grandson Jacob had something else going on so didn't come out to make ornies this year. (He likes to stay home with his dad who has leukemia). 

Kayla, who just turned 13 last week,  made her first angel holding a vase of roses. She then decided she needed to try to make an angel with hair.  I had my doubts about angel hair but told her to go ahead and do what she felt like doing. It turned out so cute. 

 Isabelle, who turned 13 on Halloween,  made her first version holding a teddy bear. She then tried hair too, and a skinny skirt, and posing with one arm on her head. 

And then they had other things to do that didn't involve grandma. 

Scrabble challenge later!

'Tis the Wrong Season But I'm Still Feeling Jolly

I'm trying to clear up little stashes of fabrics here and there in the sewing room.  I have a small amount of Halloween fabrics left over from making Halloween quilts, trick or treat bags and pillowcases for the grandkids and my daughter.  

  I decided to make some quick and easy St. Louis 16 patches that finish at 12 inches.   Just a few more and I'll have a quilt top. 

And that's how some 3.5 inch scraps get into the 3.5 inch scrap box. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

More Boho Roosters Join the Flock

Boho Roosters is actually the Sunburst quilt pattern in Making Quilts by Kathy Doughty. 

Backgrounds have not been added to these circles yet. I just pin a piece of audition fabric to the wall and pin the circles to it in order to take pics. 

I'm fussy cutting the rooster centers from Bohemian Rooster Click fabric by Susan Winget.  I don't have them all cut out yet so I'm hoping I have enough roosters for 16 blocks. 

I now have 7 blocks and need 16. 

And I'm still having fun with these. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Flimsy Glitter

66.5 x 73

It's a flimsy!

 Instructions for this quilt can be found in the book Quilt Lovely by Jen Kingwell

This was a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project I started in January 2017.  I made a few blocks each month from 3.5 inch scraps in the RSC color of the month. The points and corresponding pieces were in the color of the month then I used other colors of scraps for the background and four squares. 

I sewed the 152 blocks together randomly. 

I need to find and probably piece a backing and then it will be hand quilted. 

I'm glad to say that getting this to flimsy stage was my December OMG (One Monthly Goal) and my goal has been met! I'll link up later in the month at Elm Street Quilts. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Some Assembly Required

Some assembly required... that I've finished making the 27 Friendship Stars of homespuns and muslin I needed to add to the pile of 38 swapped stars.    But maybe I should iron these first. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

I Found Another Vintage Quilt I Like So Decided To Make One Like It

I have hundreds of three inch nine patches.  I decided to make a nine patch zigzag like a vintage one I saw.     So far I've made these four columns. They are too long to show you the whole piece which is queen-sized so here's a snippet.  This is easier to make than I thought so I'm hoping to have a quilt top in no time especially if I add a column a day. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

It's a Flimsy: Star Chain

Star Chain
56 x 70

Star Chain was the March 2014 Block Lotto block of the month.  I won most of these. I guess the pile was waiting for me to make a couple more blocks.  Unfortunately two ladies, mother and daughter,  didn't send me blocks like they were supposed to.  That has been the only time I've ever known in all my years with Block Lotto that ladies did not follow through and send blocks.  Some folks are just like that, I guess.   But I can't look a gift horse in the mouth. The blocks I did receive are lovely - even the one that had part of the chain going in the wrong direction.  It was an easy fix. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

In The Hoop: More Than Three Sheets to the Wind

I finally have a big quilt (84 x 96, I think)  pin basted and in the hoop.   
I'm doing some big stitching with pink perle #8. 
I'm just stitching and not marking. 

This is a VERY SCRAPPY string star quilt. Most of the strings came from the trimming of quilt backs.  Some  Most of the scrappy stars lack symmetry but I don't see that as a problem.  My goal was to use strings and make some stars. I'm definitely seeing stars. 

A lot of the quilt backs were sheets.  So I call this quilt More Than Three Sheets to the Wind. 

I'm also using a nice soft pink silky feeling sheet from the thrift store for the back of this one. You can't really see it here but the sheet is embossed with roses. 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Little Gifts

I made a few potholders for Christmas gifts.  For these I used Insulbrite and cotton flannel inside.   The one with mushrooms is for my daughter who loves to forage for mushrooms.  This is one side. 

This is the other side. 

And to go with the potholders...dishtowels, crocheted dishrags and crocheted scrubbies.  I usually use old embroidery transfers and embroider on the towels but this year I added a strip across the bottom of the towels that matches the potholders.   Looks like I'm a scrubby short but I probably have one in my "gifty box".  I try to keep a box of things like these so I have gifts for any occasion but it looks like that box is getting low. 

I made a special set for my good friend who claims she is an African Queen.  (It's a harmless delusion so I play along). She is the complete opposite of me but other than that she is exactly like me. Won't she have a good laugh when I give her some African Queen potholders.  (She gives me gifts suitable for a bonnie Irish lass - my harmless delusion). 

(She doesn't know I have a blog so I can show her gift. I don't want her here visiting. She'd go overboard with gushing even when things aren't really gushworthy. Ah, friends!)

Friday, December 8, 2017

Playing Along

I'm playing along with the Bonnie Hunter mystery makers and making the units called for in Bonnie's clues but making them for one of my UFOs instead of the mystery. 

I had Flying Geese day at my house last week and made a bunch of Flying Geese for several UFOs. And, then, Bonnie's clue 2 called for Flying Geese!  So I got busy and  made more - 192 more. I need about 720  little Flying Geese for sashing for my Blind Man's Fancy quilt.  I think I'm at the half way mark. 

Even though I don't have all the sashings with Flying Geese made yet...

...I had to try some out. Row 1 is assembled. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A Tale of Birds in the Air - Chapter VI - White Bird Flimsy

White Bird 
It's now a flimsy! 
76 x 88

I was a Block Lotto winner of several of these Birds in the Air blocks in January 2016.  The challenge was to make them all work together nicely since not everyone stitches the same 1/4 inch seam.  And I'm all right with that. I made a lot more blocks to add to the winnings so I could have a bigger quilt.  While researching layouts I found one I liked that was even in similar colors but in reverse from the blocks I had.  I made some Flying Geese for the borders. 

This White Bird is the second of three different Birds in the Air quilts I've been working on. 

Chapters I - V of  A Tale of Birds in the Air 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

More Bohemian Roosters Join The Flock

Boho Rooster #3 

These are 20 inch blocks and are not yet attached to any background fabric. I'm just auditioning some when I take photos.  I'm going to make all 16 blocks first before I add the pieced backgrounds. 

Boho Rooster #4

Instructions for making these Sunburst blocks can be found in Kathy Doughty's book Making Quilts. (My version is a little wilder, I guess).    I'm fussy cutting my rooster centers from Susan Winget fabric named Bohemian Rooster Click. 

I found these roosters eyeing those Speedy Chicks over at Sally's coop.   I might be forced to follow the tutorial and manufacture some to keep these roosters happy. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Gallimaufry and Thingamajigs


It's no secret that I'm inspired by a lot of vintage scrappy quilts.  I tried a few 4 inch blocks after I was inspired by a quilt for sale at Rocky Mountain Quilts.   I love all of the secondary patterns that can be seen in the quilt.  I'm not interested in buying - just interested in making my own. And so I think I have the little blocks figured out and now will continue to make more.  Nann at With Strings Attached suggested a few weeks ago that Gallimaufry would be a good name for some of my scrappy concoctions because that's what came to mind when she saw some of them.  Nann is a librarian so she knows all those fancy words but I didn't know if she was giving me a compliment, making fun of my quilts or just thought I could use a little learnin'. I had to look up the word so I could remember it longer.  Thanks, Nann. That's a good name for this quilt wannabe. 

I made a couple more of these Thingamajigs inspired by vintage blocks I saw on Flickr.  After screwing around trying to figure out how to make the block I decided they were just an Ohio Star variation. But now that I look back at the photo I'm not so sure these blocks are connecting quite the same as those in the picture. But that's okay. I'm going to continue on like this. 

The plan is to use my 1.5 inch scraps to make these blocks.  After I use a scrap for each block plus make Rainbow Scrap Challenge rail fence and Whatchamacallit blocks  if there is any left of the piece  I'm going to put it in the Spider Web quilt box so I can continue on with that quilt. 

And that's how really scrappy quilts are usually made around here - one scrap goes into many quilts.