Sunday, February 9, 2020

January's Quilt


What started out as random scrap threadsaver pinwheels.


January's finish is technically a UFO because it started with a small basket of scrappy threadsaver half-square triangles with which I created pinwheels.  I needed way more than were in the basket, so 3/4 of this is new sewing.  I have so many scraps . . . boxes and boxes of triangles, strips, squares, and baskets of odd little shapes and strings . . . there just will never be an end to these scrappy quilts.  I'm not buying new fabric and I'm not joining any block of the month clubs.  And I've always felt that buying a quilt kit is somehow cheating.  You don't really learn how to work with color and be actively creative, in my opinion.

If at first you don't succeed!  Although this is not entirely without merit.
 When I first started this project, I wanted the blocks to be arranged as per the photo, but apparently I wasn't paying attention and sewed them together differently.  This isn't what I wanted so I ripped seams and started all over again.  Nevertheless, the "fail" arrangement is not bad.  I kinda like it!

February's project:  blocks laid out on the back of January's project.
And now I am working on February's project, for which I had to make 100 blocks.  This is new; not a UFO.  Made from 2" rectangles, there was no complicated cutting or sewing and I think I must have used three different types of muslin.  There are no fabric repeats in the blocks so this is actually a "charm" quilt.  I love to use as many of my fabrics as possible (and I have plenty)!  By the way, the blocks and graphic are laid out on the January project's backing.  Love this fabric which I'm sure I purchased back in the 70's.  You can always tell vintage fabrics because they don't have those double rows of punctures on the selvages.

Hope you all have an excellent February.  We are having a bathroom remodel and it is always a trauma to be invaded every day.  But I have found that being in my basement sewing room is a wonderful respite from the noise and dust and travails.  The guys doing the work couldn't be nicer, quieter, more considerate and we really like what they're doing.  Another reason for all the indoor activity is so much snow!!  Seems like every Thursday and Friday we are having some type of wintry precipitation:  ice or sleet or snow.  That's getting old, I tell ya!  Be well!

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Australia on Fire

I feel just dead inside knowing billions of Australia's creatures -- including humans -- have died in the bush fires!  If I lived there, I would probably volunteer to help fire fighters and animal rescuers.  Since I'm in the US, I'm going to make Joey Pouches.   I've got a huge stash and it seems these will do some good.  There are also craft groups here and around the world that are making these and sending them to make a little bit of a difference.  There are also groups that are knitting koala mittens, etc., so whatever skill you have can be put to good use.  I found a lot of information by searching "joey pouches for bushfire victims." 
Finished pouch from the Mood Fabrics website.  Link below
On the Mood Fabrics website you can find a self-drafted pattern and tutorial for this pouch and includes the address to send to in Lodi, NJ.  There might be a group in your area collecting these, so check that out, too.

Joey pouch in use.  Photo from Piccolo Studio website.  Link below.
I was able to get a free pattern download that includes the tutorial by visiting Piccolo Studio .

Please help the survivors and also consider making a donation to the World Wildlife Foundation.

xoxo

Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Last and the First

Last quilt of 2019 to be the first finish of 2020?
I finished this top yesterday and will be searching for the backing today.  I'll be looking for binding fabric too, since I ran out of the fabrics in the border.  Oops!  If I could get a room to pin it up, it would be done by New Year's Eve; but as it is I can't get a room until January 2, so it will be the first finish of 2020.   This one is made from Civil War era and 1800's reproduction fabrics and is, therefore, one of my favorites.  It's 60" x 60".

It is entirely possible that I will have another finish before Tuesday.  I'm always finding random blocks and partially completed tops and if I find one that is 45" or less, I can pin it up at home and get it quilted before 2019 ends. 

In the meantime, make the most of 2019 because who knows what 2020 brings!  At the outset, however, I wish you all a very Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Happy Kissmess!

 Hope you had a good Christmas or Hanukka!  I had a wonderful Christmas Eve day putting this quilt top together and then quilting it.  Finished quilting and binding it today.  Tomorrow I will start on another of those projects mentioned in my last post. 
Top ready for pinning and quilting, Christmas Eve 2019.
Christmas Eve and it's mostly quilted.  Finished it Christmas day.
Quilting in progress.  I really like using the Hera marker because it leaves no marks, just an indentation that you can easily follow.  There's my jar of safety pins, all of which were salvaged from dry cleaning over the years. 

This little quilt is only 39 x 39 and I love it!  Something about yellow always makes me happy and this is just cute as can be.  The backing is an equally pleasant yellow with pink roses.  It makes a great baby quilt, wall-hanging, or table throw. 

I have only six more days in the year to finish another project but I don't really care if I do or not.  If there's another finish, so be it.  If not, so be it.  If I'm not back before then, Happy New Year and have a healthy and prosperous 2020!!  xoxo

Saturday, December 21, 2019

New Projects and Happy Holidays!

Four new projects in the works!
I don't even know if these projects have formal names but here they are and all are made from scraps.  (1--far left) a pinwheel for which I am still cutting and sewing -- have a long way to go on this, so it will probably be a 2020 finish.  (2--mid photo) I'm sure this block has a formal name but I don't know what it is and it doesn't matter to me presently.  This can be classified as a UFO because while looking for backing fabric for one of the 2019 finishes I came across a box of half-square triangles that I'd made for a Delectable Mountains quilt that I finished a couple of years ago.  I had enough for nine of these blocks and I will arrange them on-point with the delightful yellow print just under the blocks. I think this will be pretty and it will probably be finished next week as it will be small.  (3--top right) Another UFO I have been cutting and collecting scraps for this for since the turn of the century.  Is it Dresden Plate?  This, too, will take a while and will be a 2020 finish.  (4-- bottom right)  This is a true scrappy quilt consisting of strips of small scraps sewed together in bands.  I have been sewing these strips together for several years and finally have enough for a large quilt.  It's possible this could be finished before the new year.  Who knows.  In any case, sewing small scraps together to create new fabric is kind of an obsession with me, so this one will finish while a new one is being created.

Then let me say Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukka, Fabulous Winter Solstice, Brilliant Kwanzaa, and Happy New Year!  Looking forward to finishing more projects and sharing them with you next year.  xoxo

Friday, December 13, 2019

Baskets!!

What?!  No stars?! 
This is another UFO that I have wanted to complete for a long, long time.  I made the top back in '94 and hung it on my kitchen wall.  Tuesday I took it down from the wall (believe it or not, I'd stapled it) and found a wonderful backing fabric in my stash.  Since it's only 46-1/2 x 60-1/2, I was able to pin it up on the table in my sewing room (not a perfect situation, but it worked).  Honestly, it was a bit gunky after twenty-five years on the kitchen wall, so first thing after sewing the last binding stitch, it went in the laundry and today it is hanging on the line outside drying in a nice late fall breeze; and it's CLEAN! 

I've been keeping the quilting simple on these pieces this year and this one is probably simpler than most of them.  The scrappiness of this quilt top is difficult to fully comprehend, as all the muslin seems to be the same color in this photo.  However, in person you can see all the different colors of muslin and it's a little distracting but that's the point of scrappy quilts, right?  A quilt is almost always more interesting to me when there is some little thing that pops out -- usually it's a bit of yellow (and this one has that, too).

Anyway, it's not stars!  There was a time back in the 90's when I was fascinated with basket patterns.  A lot of them are in samplers, but there are probably a half dozen or more full-size basket quilts resting in the quilt closet. 

I don't know if this will be the last finish of 2019; probably not.  I have four more unfinished tops hanging on walls including a 40" x 40" log cabin I made on January 17, 1994 -- the day of the big Northridge, California earthquake.  Lord knows why I was home that day instead of at work, but I remember watching the news reports on TV while sewing the blocks together.  It's one of the few quilts I have dated. 

So, stay tuned!  There might be one or two more finishes before the 31st!  xoxo

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Dog Show Quilt

Do I ever get tired of stars?  It would appear not.
 It's Thanksgiving Day and the tradition around here is that I watch the dog show on NBC while I work on my quilt projects.  This is my 2019 Thanksgiving Day quilt.  Yes, I noticed these are just more stars blocks.  What can I say?  I like 'em.

I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.
I really love the fabrics in these.  You can see the star points are in light fabrics with dark backgrounds.  This quilt has a fraternal twin:  the star points are in dark fabrics with light backgrounds.  That will be my project for next month.

As for the dog show,  I was cheering on the Golden Retriever (gorgeous) and the Havenese (a-freaking-dorable) but, alas, the Bulldog won.  Agreed he was tug-at-your-heartstrings ugly but playful and sweet.  So, congratulations Thor!  And Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  xoxo

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Stars & More Stars

I must have made at least six star quilts this year, maybe more.  I don't feel like counting them right now, but here is yet another.   And with this I believe I have finally used up all the UFO star blocks!

Forty-two stars, alternating browns and reds
To be honest, I just wanted to get rid of these blocks once and for all and get on with all the other UFOs that are waiting.  Unfortunately, I have more than I thought because while searching for fabrics for the backing of this quilt (see below) I found a large bag of 6" triangles in christmas prints that I must have collected sometime during the Clinton presidency.  I have to say I am NOT a big fan of christmas prints so don't ask me why I collected these; it was a round robin and I'd run out of ideas, let's just say that.  This one is 76 x 85 and the batting is a solid weight Warm & Natural. 

Love this backing!! 
Since I vowed I would not purchase new fabric until my stash is significantly depleted (which will never happen even if I spend every waking moment making quilts for the rest of my life), searching for sufficient yardage for backing is always a challenge and often a pain in the back . . . lifting piles of yardage on and off shelves and lifting heavy plastic tubs.  I was lucky enough to find seven yards of this very attractive, fun fabric that goes perfectly with the top and I love it!!

So I pinned this up yesterday and I ran out of pins!  Consequently, I had to go back over the top and pull out some pins and reposition resulting in a less secure pin-up.  Just hoping it all stays together during the quilting process. 

I hope it is reasonable to believe I will finish one more quilt before 2019 is over.   We shall see!  In the meantime, happy sewing to you!  Be well!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Sand and Sea

Fall has made it clear that winter is not far behind.  This is the time of the year when we always have our first frost and it's a great time for taking inventory of all the quilts we have made this year.  But I'm not going to do that just yet.  Today I'm going to share photos of two crib quilts I made this week using leftovers from the wedding quilt.  I've just listed them on etsy.  Here we go!




Beach Baby 1
Beach Baby 1 is 52" x 66" in gender neutral sand and sea colors.  It would be great for a wedding quilt or a crib quilt.  The batting is Warm & Natural and the backing is a cotton dyed fabric that reminds me of the beach.  There seems to be more sand than sea in this one.  Reminds me of the Atlantic beaches down the shore.
Beach Baby 2
This one is smaller at 45" x 56 and has more sea than sand, except for the backing.  This is definitely more Gulf Coast, maybe Sanibel Island.  Again, good for a crib or wedding quilt although you can see the elliptical quilting in the white squares on this one (click on each photo for more detail). 

Wish I could take better photos!  This time I was able to improve my lighting but it is still difficult to set up the quilts so they don't look all lumpy.  Suggestions for improvement are welcome!

Friday, September 6, 2019

Stars and Bars

Yet another Stars & Bars.  It won't be the last.
 Here is yet another Stars and Bars top that is, at this point, pinned up and ready to quilt. 

I had 64 blocks that I made back in the 90's.  The burgundy/brown pieces for many of the stars came via a snail mail round robin, but I provided the tan and muslin fabrics.  The photos are not reading as red as they should, so apologies for that.

This quilt uses 25 of the 64 blocks I have.  That means there will be at least one more of these and then I will have 14 blocks left over with which I think I will make a small crib quilt, but not in the Stars and Bars arrangement.  But, maybe! 

Red and Brown is a favorite combo.

This is the backing.  Color's not reading right here, sorry!

This photo shows the backing that I chose.  I was very fortunate to have purchased five yards of this wonderful reproduction fabric when it was on sale long ago. 

I think I mentioned previously that I am not buying new fabric to finish these UFOs; I'm relying on stash fabric only.  Incredibly, this is working out well for me.  My old habit was every time I finished a top I went out shopping for backing fabric.  A great way to build a stash, but mine is so big I could actually open a shop.  Consequently, I am sometimes piecing the backing.  Again, that seems to be working well for me and it makes the quilt just a little more delightful, in my opinion.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Lady of the Lake Quilt Repair

Close up of top border shredding!
 Sab's favorite quilt, a Lady of the Lake made in the 80's sometime, has been in daily use for over twenty-five years.  As you can see, the top border sustained damage from all the tugging and pulling while the rest of the quilt remains in pretty good shape.  There were four triangles that needed to be replaced, too, as well as the binding.  So, get to work Patty!

First step:  remove the binding.
In those days I was sewing my bindings by hand and my stitches were quite small, so it took a bit of time and a mighty fine seam ripper to get all of it off.  Fortunately, I had enough of the original fabric left to make new binding to match the inner border.

No damage to the backing, which is a pretty cool map print.
 The backing is still in good shape and it is one of Sab's favorite fabrics:  maps!!  Because the backing was still good, I decided to simply replace the outer border all the way around.  I'm afraid the biggest problem we had was finding fabric in the right color blue; that took a while, but I think what we purchased truly works.  Much of the original blue floral has faded quite a bit and we just couldn't find anything near that color, especially in this era of "modern" quilting!

Now it's in better shape than when it was new!
All I did was cover the original border all the way around, quilt it with a wave-like free-hand design and apply the binding (this time by machine).  Voila!  It is good to go back on the bed and provide textile cuddles during the upcoming winters! 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

OMG it's August Already!

Not  a great photo -- apologies!

I spent the day canning antipasto relish, but did have time to take a photo of the current UFO (attached).  I sewed this top back in the early 90's and it hung on the living room wall for a long time (I'd hung it during the xmas season and Mark liked it so much he wouldn't let me take it down).  I'm afraid a lot of my unfinished quilt tops suffer the same fate, although at this point there are only five on the walls and a sixth that is an actual quilt with batting, binding, and everything!!

This particular top came about in two stages.  The four rows of houses on snowy streets came first and that's what hung on the wall for such a long time.  Then I finally took it down and added the stars border, which I am totally in love with.  It's only 43" x 62" so I can pin this up at home and hope to have that done by Sunday.  First I have to piece together the batting using batting scraps I've been saving.  The backing will be a dark navy celestial with gold stars. 

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Pardon My French

Sometimes things just don't work out, right?  That's why so many of us have unfinished projects lurking in our sewing rooms.  So far this year I have been very lucky to complete many of my UFOs with great success, but this one was not to be.  It is a piece of -- pardon my French -- merde.


Navajo quilt top designed by me in 1979.
It looks innocent from far away, but this top was a mess from the get-go.  I made it back in the 70's from 100% cotton solids, which were not that great back then.  There was a lot of fraying and coupled with my incomplete understanding of "best practices" in quilting, e.g., handsewing the pieces together without reference to the 1/4" (or ANY standard, consistent measurement) seam; failing to ensure pieces were cut on the grain;  failing to pay attention (as demonstrated by the center row of mismatched blocks -- although I have to admit I like this variation better) . . . merde happens!

Navajo quilt back, a huge mess!
Pinning up the quilt was an adventure as there were lotsa lumps and I thought, "Oh, that's okay.  I'll quilt them out".  Wishful thinking.  There are some small puckers on the front but the back is a sea of puckers.  After I started quilting the top and the back shifted so I had to add backing fabric to both long sides -- not a pretty sight.

Merde!  This looks grey but it's actually sage green.
Here is a section of the back that is the worst.  You can see the huge pucker (I think you would have to call that a pleat, it's so big!) and the fabric I had to add to the back.

So, it's a mess, but it is finished!  I had the option of taking all the blocks apart and resewing and squaring-up the blocks.  The blocks were sewed by hand so I felt some sentiment and decided to keep it "as is" no matter what the outcome.  It's a quilt--not a good one-- and it won't win any prizes but the design is good.  It was inspired by a Navajo rug that I had back in the 70's and I made all the templates out of cardboard, probably not too accurately.  Quilting was not yet the huge industry it is today, 100% cotton fabrics were hard to find as the market was inundated with polyester, and I could go on baying excuses but the bottom line is merde!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Last of the minis

13-1/2" x 15" vintage hearts mini quilt
This is the last of them, for a while at least.  As far as I know, I do not have any other bags of mini quilt tops buried in the sewing room.  I barely know what I have in there anymore!  But I AM using up good bits of my stash of quilting cottons.  Yay! Unfortunately, I have yards and yards of fashion fabrics which I will probably put in my etsy shop someday soon. 

This morning I started quilting the 4-patch/string top and once that is done I will start cutting the fabrics for a wedding quilt. 

Have a good one!  Oh, and please try to be courteous and not shoot off fireworks in close proximity to other homes.  Dogs and cats, as well as many people (especially veterans) and babies, can be traumatized by the noise.  We are lucky enough to live in a city that provides an impressive municipal fireworks display; of course, that doesn't prevent neighborhood idiots from spending half their paycheck in an effort to blow themselves up, despite the fact that shooting off fireworks within the city limits is illegal.  We actually have a neighborhood just outside the city limits that puts on what they call The Fireworks War.  It's quite scary!

So, probably no sleep tonight even with the ear plugs.  This is one holiday I hate.  


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Mini-Mania!

Vintage mini Baskets 13" x 13"

Vintage mini Card Tricks 11-1/2" x 14"

Vintage mini Old Maid's Trick 13" x 13"
I have only one more to complete and will do that tomorrow.  Then on to quilting the strings and 4 patch I made back in April.  After that, I will be making a wedding quilt for my daughter -- she wants to have her guests sign the quilt rather than a guest book and then will use the quilt in the beach house.  I need to get the whole thing done before September.  What do you think?  Can I do it?

Sunday, June 30, 2019

More Minis!

12-1/2" x 14-1/2" Kaleidoscope
So, yes, I finished three more today.  This surprise stash of mini quilt tops has been fun!  I'm using up a lot of batting scraps and these little quilts are a wonderful pick-me-up for a hot and humid day!  Wish I could remember the name of the pattern in the first one (thanks to Nancy Schaub who identified this as Kaleidoscope).  I made a larger scale quilt using this pattern which is no doubt lurking in the quilt closet pining for a bed to lay upon!

Lively pinwheels  11" x 13"
By far, the most fun pattern for little scraps!  I could have added another border to this one, but chose not to do so.  I like it the way it is.

"Hearts"  10-1/2" x 13"
And finally my favorite hearts pattern.  I've made many versions of this pattern and have lots of other minis that I have used as Valentine "cards" . . . including a "Blue Valentines" version.

Tomorrow I go to the library to pin up at least one more full-size quilt.  I might have time and energy to pin up two and if that's the case I will be all caught up with finished vintage tops (except for the Picasso).    In the meantime, I have four more minis to finish and they are so fast and easy, I will probably finish those before I start working on the full-size quilts.  Besides, my poor little Pfaff is probably overworked at this point.  I might need to give it a vacation and pull out the old Singer 99K.  Hate using a walking foot, though. 

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Minis

I found a bag of mini quilt tops that I'd finished sometime before the 21st century started.  I'm telling you, there are things lurking in my work room that I don't even know what they are.  A couple of days ago I also found some really cute aprons that I made some time after the 21st century started, but can't remember exactly when.


There were eight mini quilt tops in the bag and this was the first to be finished today.  It's 13" x 13" and the little stars are 3" square.  In the photo upper right you can see the batting scraps; I basted some of these together for the quilt's batting.  In the upper left of the photo you can see my weird, home made pin cushion that looks like a diaphragm.  But, hey, it works!  Since it is so hot, these will be fun to finish in the cool work room.  More later!

Saturday, June 22, 2019

and another finish!

Pioneer Braid which took more than 30 years to complete.
 And here is the Pioneer Braid . . . finished!  I'm not that happy with the values here, but I like the quilt anyway. The heavy wool blanket that I used for batting was easy to quilt but it sure is heavy!  Egads, this thing must weight eight or nine pounds. 

T
Daffy says "This is now mine."
While I was cleaning up the quilt, cutting threads and pulling the basting out, Daffy decided to jump up and plop herself down in the middle of it!  Her paws are crossed, which in her language means "I own this."  Cats love quilts!

Today I am quilting Daughter of Ohio Star and it's going well.  Should finish that one by tomorrow.

Hope you're having a good day!

Friday, June 14, 2019

70's UFOs

Yesterday I sewed the binding on the large Ohio Star quilt, so that is finished.  Monday I'll be pinning up the daughter of the large Ohio Star quilt and that should be done next week -- quilted and bound and folded up and put in the pile of quilts finished in 2019.  Yay for me! 
Daughter of Ohio Star scheduled for pin-up Monday!
A couple of weeks ago I found more UFOs stuffed in the quilt closet.  I started these back in the late 70's early 80's; I'll be working on these in the next few weeks.  The first one is a native American design and I have no idea where I found this pattern, but it was long ago when there were few quilt books, so I think I probably saw the design on a blanket or a book and drafted the pattern myself.  In any case, it is quite the wonky piece of work!  Most of it is hand sewed but there is also some machine sewing.  At the time I started this, I wasn't well-acquainted with the concept of 1/4" seams.  Uh hmmm.

70's top inspired by Navaho design, I believe.
Needless to say, I have no more of the rust colored fabric, but I do have plenty of the gold, green, and black.  At this point I'm simply going to add a border and let it be.  You can see that center row is quite different.  I mean, really, you'd need a calculator to keep count of all the mistakes made in this one.  Nevertheless, I like it and I'm going to finish it.  Hopefully there won't be too many puckers in the finished quilt!!  Stay tuned for more on this one.

Pioneer Braid that I started in the early 80's.  That's my father's woolen blanket from WWII.
This is one I envisioned would be so cool, but it is a lot harder than I anticipated (which is why it has dawdled in the UFO pile for over 30 years).  Back in the 70's I made a small Pioneer Braid wall hanging and loved it so much I though I would make a bed-sized version.  I had this wonderful woolen blanket that my father had from WWII; I thought it would make a great batting.  It is VERY thick, so we will see how my machine reacts to the quilting chore.  I am working on this one now making a few more braids to fit the width of the blanket.  My plan is to take four fabrics from the stash and sew them directly to the back of the blanket and then sew the braids to the top one by one, overlapping the seams.  No border is planned for this one.  This one has fabrics from the 50's through the present but technically it isn't a "charm" quilt because there are a few repeats -- not many, but that still makes it NOT a charm quilt.  Wish me luck!!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Early May update

April quilt with border!
 Here is the April quilt with border added.  It's quite colorful and really cheers me up.  I find that finishing these tops is not quite a difficult as finding the right backing fabric.  However, I have so much yardage that finding the PERFECT backing for this was much easier than usual, probably because it is so colorful just about anything would work.

And a word about that.  I tend to use 19th century reproduction/civil war or calico fabrics in my tops.  That isn't to say that I don't have yards and yards of Tula Pink and Amy Butler, etc.  I just don't seem to be able to incorporate those fabrics in something like this, where the original blocks are so dark.

This one is set to be pinned up in August unless I can find another place to do my pinning.  Currently, I use the public library because they have conference rooms with large tables.  However, they only let groups use them and only once a month. 

Original photo of quilt (L) and my cheat sheet (R).
 And now we come to the early May quilt.  I found the photo of this quilt in a book borrowed from the library.  I have no idea which book, but it is so scrappy and chaotic I just had to make it.   The blocks are 4-1/2" and I used telephone book pages for the paper piecing of the string blocks.  Remember telephone books?
Ta Da!!  Love it!
I just love it.  It's not big (51" x 60") and I'm in the process of choosing the backing for it and will bind it with the same red that's in the border.  There are 63 four patches and 56 string patches in this.  I have to tell you that I made so many mistakes putting this together I was getting very frustrated and I pulled out miles of stitching!  Worth it!

Back to the UFO bin for my next project.  What will it be?

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Almost There!

Just the "center" part of the quilt.  What will the border be?
Here's a new one I started this week.  The six blocks on the outside and the pastel block in the middle were from a trade where the blocks were supposed to be 12-1/2",  but none of these even came close to 12".  For the original trade, I wound up making six blocks to replace these and sending those off instead.  But since I've always been intrigued by this pattern,  so I kept them and knew I would one day turn them from UFOs to a finished quilt.  You can see I added a very thin sashing between the blocks, primarily because Sabryin complained there was "too much white" and then I decided to cut the 160-something 2-1/2" squares (one-by-one by the way) and use those for the background.

Now I am at the point where I need to determine what the border will be.  If you have ideas, leave a comment. 

Friday, April 19, 2019

Adventures in Seam Ripping

Laid out the finished top to measure and OOPS! Can you see it?
I finished this top from long-ago UFO ('90s) tan and burgundy Ohio Stars and I was really happy with the arrangement.  Unfortunately, not every one of the blocks was exactly 9-1/2", so there was a lot of seam ripping and resewing involved in getting this far.   Then I laid out the top and realized my adventure in seam ripping was not over yet!  Can you see it?
Yep.  Those triangles are headed in the wrong direction.
 Well, this sort of thing happens to the best of quilters so it is unsurprising that it happened to me.  However, I was up to the task and ripped those seams and replaced those errant triangles with white and it is now a really cool top.  Hope to get it pinned and quilted soon.

What to do with left-over blocks!  
And there were eleven blocks left over and there is no such thing as a "left-over" in my stash, so I made one more Ohio Star block to make this little crib quilt, which is 50" x 63".  Not quilted yet, but soon.

Then I wanted to talk about making quilts.  These two are the fourth and fifth quilts I've made for myself so far this year (I've also made two small quilts for a client).  I have a quilt closet which is completely full and one full five-shelf bookcase.  I sometimes try to count them, but I get really wrapped up in the sewistry and the textiles and colors that I lose track; but there are probably close to two hundred.  Every time I tell my sister I'm making a new quilt (which I'm always doing at this point), she says "What for?  Don't you have enough already?  You should try to sell them!"  Some of my friends share the same opinion.  So, why is it wrong for me to want to keep my quilts?

Every quilt I've ever made and gave away is still in my heart.  I remember one that I made for a public radio fund-raising auction.  It was stolen.  I have made innumerable quilts for new babies of friends and family and I always wonder what happened to them.  Are they in storage?  Were they sold at garage sales?  Were they destroyed by the family pet?  Used as beach or picnic blankets or -- HORRORS!  -- truck bed liners!  I know of one that was given away, but at least it's still in the family.  I loved it and I poured my heart and soul into making it but it was not treasured as I had hoped. 

So, I keep them.  Can you relate to this, or am I the only one?

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Another One Bites the Dust

Sorry about the lighting, which seems to seriously mute all the colors! 
This week I was rearranging my quilt closet, trying to fit a couple more quilts in there, and found four UFOs, one of which was this 16-patch.  I just added a 3" border of white muslin and a 1-1/2" border of scraps and then another 3" muslin border and voila!  C'est fini!

This top was made back in the early 80's when I was trading 5" and 1-1/2" squares, so it is a real archive of vintage fabrics,  some of which are from the 40's, 50's, 60's, and 70's. 

I have to admit, I miss the old days when we traded fabrics via the mail.  The trades in which I was involved required ten different 5" squares of fabric and it was a wonderful way to stretch your collection when making charm quilts.  This quilt qualifies as a charm quilt because every fabric is different. 

The center part of the quilt contains 964 different fabrics and the border has 43, so over one thousand different fabrics! 


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Windmills in Indiana

20"  square Windmill in earth tones.
I was very lucky to have a custom order for two of these little Windmill quilts, made for a special person who volunteers at a windmill museum in Indiana.  I had no idea there was a windmill museum in Indiana, but there is!   I love making these little 3-1/2" windmill blocks -- great for making the very scrappy quilts I love so much.  
Obviously, a close-up of the 3-1/2" windmill blocks.
Each quilt is a little different in terms of the fabrics used, but they are almost identical. I had so much fun working on this special project and I hope the recipient loves them as much as I do!
Just simple, geometrical quilting, but sturdy!
I kept the quilting very simple, in the ditch and geometrical and it is all very sturdy.  I always pull my bobbin thread up before starting a row of quilting, but I did have some trouble with bird's nests forming on the back side despite being so careful.  Maybe my Pfaff is tired; maybe she needs to go to the sewing machine spa and get a professional cleaning.  After all, I have been working her pretty hard lately!