Monday, January 31, 2022

4-Patch Delight

Here we are ending January, and even with all the travel time, I am sharing a finish for the month. And - bonus - it fits the last and very loosely defined goal on my '22 Goals List - "Numerous TBA Quilts." In this post I delve into many possibilities for gorgeous yet simple quilts that would fulfill this particular goal, and share appealing inspiration pics from my Pinterest boards.

Simple. Straightforward. Easy. Fast. Satisfying. Stash-busting.

Yes, this little cutie ticks all the boxes. I had the 2.5-inch squares prepared and on hand. I took my time enjoying the process of matching up light and dark combinations. The fact that I made enough for this quilt was a pleasant surprise - I guessed pretty accurately - only 2 4-patches left over.

I was winging it, for sure, and it just all worked out as if it were meant to be. Here are the most basic instructions; while I used 2.5-inch squares, this, of course, one could work with whatever size happens to be on hand.

1. Make a whole bunch of 4-patch blocks.

2. Attach 4-patches to make  4 16-patch units.

3. Attach 16-patches, then add inner border.

4. Attach two rows of 4-patches to the top and bottom.
5. Add two rows of 4-patches to the sides.

DONE! This measures 42.5 inches, and at present I intend to leave it as is. The possibility of adding to it appeals to me, but not as much as considering this particular piece FINISHED. I can use it as a table cloth, or drape it on the back of a chair. 

I don't mind square quilts, but if I were to make another one just to see what it would look like in a larger size, I believe I would play around with ways to make it rectangular for use on a bed. Six center blocks? That seems a likely place to begin.

And look - the bag is still full. I've barely touched the contents. The oft-heard cry from quilters about never running out of scraps is true! The more we use, the more the scrap bins/bags/baskets overflow.

I hope you are having a wonderful Monday. I need to take care of lots of loose ends today, chief among them - a massive grocery haul. 

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Vacation Complete

Yes, we are home from our near-month vacation to Florida. It was a wonderfully successful experiment for us as we'd never traveled for such a length of time. Twenty-four days mostly cooped up in the car with DH has the potential for disaster. Fortunately for him, I am a very easy person to live with - why, doggone near perfect! *heheh*

My best vacation picture; taken on Tsala Apopka Lake.

I took a bunch of projects for stitching while in the car, but you know what? I barely did any. I had so much clutter around me - atlas (yes, we are old-school), phone, brochures, trash bag, purse, food or snacks, plus multiple drinks - coffee, iced tea, water - there just wasn't room for one more thing. More than once, I thought about sitting in the back seat to sew! But that wouldn't be a very good co-pilot, so I refrained.

Gulf waters going down the Florida Keys.

And, honestly, I enjoyed seeing all the sights. Had I been stitching, I would have missed some wonderful sight-seeing. While I have been to Florida several times, those were mostly single-destination visits. We hadn't been out to actually see the state. This trip afforded us the opportunity to really tour around. 

Mexico Beach, on the Panhandle; shoes off!

We entered Florida at the very western tip of the panhandle, and over the course of the month drove all the way to Key West. We circumnavigated Lake Okeechobee, made two trips across Alligator Alley (going to KW and returning), and saw lots of the area along the northern gulf coast. We had pontoon rides, cabin cruiser rides, ferry rides, trolley rides, and recumbent bike rides. We visited with family and friends all across the state - some live there full time, while others winter there every year.

Cabin Cruiser; owned by friend of friends we visited.


The first morning we were home, we had 3" of snow. Welcome back to Ohio, right? 


Now that we're back - got here late afternoon Thursday - I have been getting back into some sort of routine, and dreaming about stitching. Finally, yesterday afternoon, I'd had enough dreaming. I laid out blocks for my Temecula Baskets quilt. Since I am not using a pattern, I had a couple of ideas for how I could possibly arrange these blocks. Here are my current favorites. I labeled them "A" and "B" - feel free to chime in with your opinion. I need to make more blocks, so I won't be deciding just yet. 

Because I just couldn't begin to make my brain think hard enough to cut out more baskets, I began sifting through a bag of 2.5-inch squares; these were scraps acquired in the exchange we Frankfort girls did a few months ago. By gosh, it was kid-in-a-candy-store goodness, I tell you! I will share pics in tomorrow's post.

To sign off today, let me share a few more Florida pictures. I estimate taking over 700 pictures; so sifting through has been time consuming, to say the least.

Manatee momma and baby.

Fertile, dark soil for growing caladiums.

Flock of flamingos.

Grove of Bismarck Palm trees.

Marshy waters & waterfowl at Lake Okeechobee.


Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Pulling Fabric

The very thought of making quilts with the fabrics I am sharing today is akin to a kid looking forward to Christmas. It's no secret that I love beginning new projects, and ideas just swirl all the time.

Late last month I put together some fabric groupings which I feel will definitely become quilts very similar to the inspiration quilts I shared in the previous post.

Four fabrics, three of which read solid and that pretty little green and gold print. I could very easily see this becoming a 9-patch.

This grouping has just three components - blue solid, grey solid and the print. I do not recall buying the print, so it could be very old stuff from Grandma's stash.

In addition to these recent pulls, I have some pulls from years past that have not yet been used, so I could return to them and come up with something.

Several years ago, I had the idea of making a fall quilt with some or all of these. It still appeals to me, and any of those quilts from the last post would work with these.

This grouping of three fabrics is growing on me. I really had no good ideas for the pink/burgundy print on the bottom, so since it almost reads solid, I put it with two other fabrics that also read solid and came up with this. I think it works. What do you think?

When I last straightened up my fabric tubs which are organized by color, I took these prints above out of the red tub. I just thought they really did not work as red, even though not counting the backgrounds, the main color is in the red family. I know that vivid red plaid doesn't play well with the others, but I can sorta' see a quilt coming together with the rest.

The grouping above all contain that odd color in the wine/burgundy/purple range. I would definitely like this stack made into something. Would you use some or all of it? Does a neutral need to be added? Which inspiration quilt from my previous post do you think would work?

This is my red tub from the last straightening up, and for the most part, it looks the same still. My blue tub, my green tub, and so on look very similar. I need to work at using these rather than storing these. And definitely use these as opposed to buying more!

Here's a nice red grouping that could work nicely as a 9-patch made with the top 4 fabrics; the large floral on the bottom could be the setting blocks. Ooh, yes, yes, yes.

The dreaming continues. And, for DH and I, the vacation continues. Yesterday, we visited a quilt shop in Crystal River. I will share more about it soon. I am not getting nearly as much stitching done as I thought I would. I have worked on that printed cross stitch baby quilt, but only minimally.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, January 14, 2022

Defining "Numerous TBA Quilts"

The previous post contained my goals list for this year, and as I look forward to making those definite quilts on the list, I am dreaming about the quilts that will fall into the final goal - "numerous TBA quilts." 

I sure did leave myself a lot of leeway on that. Totally intentional! How about let's take a moment to dream about what I am considering for that goal.

Because I am becoming increasingly concerned that my stash will long outlive me, I want to make easier, classic quilts with some of the pretty - and nearly vintage - fabric that I have collected over the last 40 years. The easiest, fastest blocks are 4-patches and 9-patches. Add a plain setting block, or a snowball block, or an hourglass block and a beauty will soon result. 

Here are some examples that have recently captured my fancy. When possible, I will link and/or identify the source, to the best of my ability.

This contains an image of: Moda All-Stars - Cakewalk - A Carnival of Quilts That Begin with 10" Layer Cake Squares
Click for link.

This beautiful 2-color quilt would be very easy to make, if I have enough of the 2 fabrics. But, a quilter could use a group of similar navy fabrics with the white and still have a gorgeous result. My difficulty would be not having the neutral/white that would be required. 

This contains an image of:
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This second example shows how additional colors can be added so that running low on one or more would be less likely. Still predominantly 9-patches, and the construction is straightforward.

This contains an image of:
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Sometimes the 9-patch can be jazzed up by elongating certain parts, and adding on more parts, such as what the quilt above illustrates. This would be a wonderful quilt for some of those fabulous larger floral prints I purchased back a few decades.

This contains an image of: Missouri Star Blog – Page 3 – Inspire. Empower. Create.
Click here for link.

And this example, called Irish Change, uses several fabrics for the setting blocks. Again, if I wanted to use fabrics of which I have only minimal yardage, this is a perfect option. I would determine my color palate and pull fabrics that played well together.

Now, let's move on to how that 9-patch looks with snowball blocks. Here are two pics, one made with 2 fabrics, the other using many for a very scrappy look.

A gorgeous quilt for the collector or decorator, circa 1930s. Thin, smooth cotton batting. Large enough to use! Features quilted feathered wreaths with 1/2" grid centers, small flowers, and 1" grid quilting along the border. | eBay!
Click here for link.
This contains an image of: Charmed, I'm Sure!  Quilty Friends Are The Best....
Click here for link.

And now to look at the 9-patch paired with the hourglass block. I've made one like this and it was super-satisfyingly fast. The version shown below has jazzed up the 9-patches. So many versions are possible.

Diamond Dazzler quilt at Tamarack Shack. Pattern by Glad Creations.
Click here for link.

I dug back through my quilt pictures and found the one I made. I have since sold it, and so making another one would be perfectly sensible. This is from 2013.

My pin boards on Pinterest are chocked full of simple designs that I might find myself making time after time after time. I definitely think simplicity will be the operative word for just about all the quilts I make this year. Plow through the stash at breakneck speed!!

As I glanced through those pin boards, I found some that are even simpler than the ones I've shared here. I will post 3 or 4 that are really screaming to be made.

This contains an image of:
Click here for link.
Scrappy quilt
Click here for link.
This contains an image of:
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Are you just dying to get started!?! All this dreaming and planning makes me to want to scramble straight to the quilting room to dig into the stash. Get to stitchin'! 

Happy Quilting, Friends!


Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Goals for 2022

After giving this list some very deliberate thought, I believe I have come up with goals that satisfy me. It has a variety of new, old (UFOs) and current (WIPs) projects. I hope I don't get tired, bored, or frustrated with the UFOs - unfinished objects. And I hope I can maintain my verve for the WIPs - works in progress. Starting new things has never been an issue, for I am always ready to begin a new quilt; for me, that's the most exciting activity of all! 

It is so much fun to look forward to making these quilts as we enter this new year. I am always optimistic and hopeful that I can accomplish my goals. 

I figure that you might not have a clear idea of what a few of these look like, so I've pulled a few pictures to illustrate. First, Ocean Ripples is a blue Kaffe Fassett quilt made entirely of HSTs - oh, so easy and oh, so fabulous.

Lil' Orphan Scrappy is a pattern I bought a couple of years ago and have yet to start it. I have pulled a good bit of fabric, however, and it really needs to be started. This picture is grabbed from designer Lynn Wilder's Etsy Shop Sew'n Wild Oaks.

 Lil' Orphan Scrappy Quilt Pattern image 1

Great Granny Square and Mini Trip Around the World are  sorta' similar, but don't look it at all; at this time I am planning to make them with my scrap stash of 2.5-inch squares. 

Bee In My Bonnet
Great Granny Square from Pinterest search

Completed Scrappy Trip Around the World - Quilty Love
Mini Trip Around the World - Pinterest Search

So now you have some idea of the stitching I will be sharing this year. The greatest take-away as I consider the quilts on the list is that I am doing quite a lot of stitching of squares - the Trip Around the World, the Great Granny Square, the Double Irish Chain, for example, are all entirely made with basic squares. Easy! Simple! Striking results! 

And given that the UFOs and Lil' Orphan Scrappy will involve a lot more cutting and piecing of all shapes and sizes, those other simple square quilts will serve as a nice balance.

Happy Quilting, Friends!


Monday, January 10, 2022

Slow Sunday Stitching

Stitching so far here in sunny Florida has been hit or miss. It's difficult to overcome pleasant weather and beckoning attractions.Here's a scene from near my brother-in-law's house. We are in a rather rural area of Florida and conditions for walking are perfect. Little traffic, safe streets, scenic vistas such as the one here from this morning's 2-mile walk - you see what I mean!?

I have spent time on my stitching, yes, but not much. You see, the vacation fun has not been my only obstacle. This printed pattern has some flaws that are forcing me to guess at the placement of stitches. This makes me wonder if these flaws weren't the reason that Grandma never continued working on this. She started, but didn't get far, which was not like her at all. Now that I've spent some time discovering this pattern's flaws, I think I am correct in this assumption. Here are three pictures of printing flaws; there are more than this, too. I've added arrows on two of pictures to help you see the flaws.


In this third picture, are you able to see the missing marks? It's supposed to be a duck, so I will have to figure out the stitching the best I can. All of the objects will have to be done just the same - as best I can, whether it's precise with the way it's supposed to be or not. If it looks like a duck that will be the goal.

Fortunately, I do have the pattern picture to reference, and believe me on just the bit of stitching I've done so far, I definitely refer to the picture. And I have to say that so far, my stitching is really sloppy, but I am soldiering on. I have to believe I will improve as I go, and the little bits of beginning stitches will be lost when viewing the quilt as a whole. I hope.

Wish me luck! I will NOT be daunted by these flaws!

Please join me and other hand quilters over at Kathy's Quilts as we join into her Slow Sunday Stitching party.

Happy Quilting, Friends!