Thursday, March 31, 2022

Strips and Scraps

I find myself in that strange quilter's limbo with no particular deadlines to meet, no currently pressing work in progress (WIP), and no burning desire to begin anything particularly special. Hmmm, what to do...

A few posts back, I reviewed the goals list for 2022, which left me thinking about beginning one of the quilts named there. It was actually a good thing to have been reminded of the quilts on the list as I needed that visual to make me stay focused.

Items number 4 and 5 on the list are quilts that can be made with scraps. Since I've been organizing scraps for a couple of years now, I have a great load of 2.5" squares which can be used of #4 - Great Granny Square quilt, and an equally great load of 2.6" strips which can be used for #5 - Mini Trip Around the World quilt - aka Trippy Quilt.

This basket contains my spilling-over stack of 2.5" strips. This should either be used up, or moved to a larger basket. I vote for using some of it.

I began picking through the strips and found some that looked good together. After checking on line for directions and some inspiration pictures, I made 4 blocks.

And when placed together, we get our mini Trip Around The World. I will need to make a lot more of these strips to end up with enough for a quilt top, and I don't think I will make a very big dent in the contents of the basket. 

The individual blocks measure 12.5 inches unfinished, so this mini TATW comes to 25 inches. If I make 36 more units, I will have enough for a 75-inch quilt top. I think. I hope I calculated that correctly. It would work out to be a square quilt, but all the trips would be complete. If I added partial trips, I could end up with a rectangular quilt of 75" by 87.5". That would be more in keeping with a mattress size. I will have to see how it looks when I get to that point. 

Either way, I have many more blocks to make, and plenty of strips from which to choose. Here is one inspiration picture I've taken from Instagram. Is this scrappy goodness or what?

Click the image to be taken to the IG page of Southern Charm  Quilts. She has all sorts of goodness there - mostly fabric. Yum.

So I find myself facing my own laptop dilemma, presently. I have had to finish this post from my iPhone - not fun. Hopefully, I can get something worked out. Maybe/maybe not I’ll see you back here tomorrow to welcome April. I’ll also be bringing progress on that Great Granny Square quilt I mentioned at the outset.

I don’t particularly care for April fools day pranks.
Happy Quilting, Friends!


Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Helen and Her Penguins

Last time the Frankfort Girls were here, Helen asked if anyone would be willing to quilt a small panel wall hanging for her. I said I'd do it.

Helen has a thing for penguins. I've seen quite an assortment of figurines at her house, and I know of at least one previous quilt made with penguins on it. 

Working on this gave me an opportunity to practice the meandering stitches I'm trying to perfect. And I wasn't investing tons of time on a large quilt. Worked out quite well for both of us, actually.

Helen says she will trim it up when she gets it back. It's a sweet little panel - 4 babies marching behind their mama. Fun and playful.

Here's a link to Helen's earlier penguin quilt; scroll down about half way.

Hope you are having an awesome day!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Sister's Windfall

The estate of a friend of my sister is being  dispersed, and she has become the newest protector of the most gorgeous red and white quilt. Simply put, this is a thing of beauty.

When she showed it to me, we didn't have much time to do an up close and personal inspection. I just took these few pictures.

Sandy said that before she spoke up for this quilt, it was destined for donations going to the humane society. Now I love that people donate old bedding this way, but for goodness sake! This heirloom in a dog pen? I am so glad Sandy had the gumption to ask for it. Basically, she is preserving its life for at least one more generation to enjoy and appreciate.

I wish I could know its story. We don't know who made the quilt, how this gentleman came into possession of it, or anything. We suspect that his mother might have made it, but it could as easily have been made by one of his grandmothers, or aunts, or great aunts. 

Other items of particular interest here for our quilters, are the contents of a sewing basket. I don't know if Sandy is keeping these or not; the daughter might be donating them. Whatever becomes of them, the items contained therein are interesting.

Sandy said that one spool of thread had a price sticker of 18 cents. Would that be 1960s pricing? Earlier?

So, that was a fun treasure to look at. I know there are collectors of vintage sewing ephemera out there, but I do not know if this man's daughter is willing to invest the time necessary for finding those people. That's what thrift stores are for, right? 

Hope you are having an awesome Tuesday! I've been to the dentist this morning, and later today we are going to see the Columbus Blue Jackets with our daughters and their guys. A fun-filled day!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, March 28, 2022

Baby Quilt Slow Stitching

Normally slow stitching is a feature of Sunday, but I was unable to get my stitching photographed in time, so I am slow stitching on this fine Monday morning.

Yesterday, I did some speed stitching, and actually made a whole baby quilt. I started about 11am, and by 8pm I was gathering my supplies for slow stitching the binding. Pressed, cut, stitched, quilted, and bound all in one day. Gracious! With baby quilts it's an easy task. I never make anything too complicated for baby use.

This collection is what I began with. The white fabric on the bottom is flannel with baby motifs. I bought it from a basket at my LQS, Old Town Fabrics, where they wrap the ends of bolts. At 1.25 yards, it serves as the backing for the baby quilt. It also served as the inspiration for the fabrics I selected for the quilt top. They, too, were selected from a basket of remnants and precuts at the same LQS.

In the mix is a little print with tractors and another with airplanes. I added some stripes, dots and solids. In hindsight, I wish I'd used another gray, but oh well.

As I worked in the sewing room yesterday, I was only intending to press and cut. But the more I planned, the more I was motivated to just keep going. So I did!

Now, the baby for whom this quilt is intended won't be born until August; and his baby shower is likely to be June. Consequently, this is all you get to see until the gifting. Secret sewing!

Since I am binding, and technically I did take a few stitches last evening, I am linking up with the Kathy's Quilts and her weekly Slow Stitching  party. I was so involved in sewing yesterday that I haven't yet looked at what all the talented makers have contributed. Go have a look with me!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, March 25, 2022

Ocean Ripples Goal Met

One of my goals for 2022 was to make Ocean Ripples, a quilt from an older Kaffe Fassett book, Burano. After finishing Cottage Green, I dove right into the blue KF fabrics at my disposal and with great fervor made HSTs - lots of HSTs - big ones and little ones. The process of beginning a much-anticipated quilt began again.

This post from March 14 (11 days ago), shows that I'd made quite a few of the large triangles, but at that point, not nearly enough. In between binding Cottage Green and Red Jacob's Ladder, and tidying up the cutting table, my anticipation of making this new quilt intensified. 

Today, I've finally attached the small triangle strips that serve as borders. Done. Well, the quilt top is done. The quilting will be down the line a bit. Backing decisions will have to be made first.

With all these triangles, the very best thing I did was to trim every last one of them to size. Even with that, I had two or three places where I had to ease fullness. The smaller triangles which make the border seem as though they will be wavy, but I'm hoping that once it's quilted and bound that it will lay reasonably flat.

 We shall see.

Here's the picture of the quilt in the book.

I knew I wanted it to be larger, and I knew I wanted to rotary cut my pieces rather than use templates. I recently read that because all of Fassett's books are published in the UK, he has to use metric measures. Secondly, because so many of his patterns are designed block by block for optimal, artistic color placement, they opt to use templates so that they can fussy cut, or select a portion of a fabric based on the predominant color or shape. 

Conversely, I am interested in making quilts FAST. I did some moderate figuring for the best, most economical use of the layer cakes I planned to use. The results are as follows: cut 6" squares for making the large HSTs; cut 3.5" squares for making the smaller, border HSTs. I trimmed my large triangles to 5.5", and, yes I did trim every single triangle. The smaller triangles were trimmed to 3" and I made way, way more than I needed. Even with the extra border row on each side (not the top or bottom, although I could), I have over 100 HSTs left over.

Did I mention that I trimmed every single triangle? It was time consuming, for sure, and tedious, but construction of this quilt top came together nearly perfectly. I am glad I made myself do all that trimming.

Here is my quilt top pinned to the design wall. I should have spread it out on the bed, but I had a day-date with DH, so I had to be satisfied with this. Maybe a few more pictures will be forthcoming.

Now, it seems a good time to re-examine the 2022 goals, and I am happy to say that less than 1/4 way through the year, I have 1/3 of my goals met. So far, I can mark off 1 -  Teter Baby Quilt, 6 - Temecula Baskets, and the subject of today's post, 11 - Ocean Ripples. Additionally, I am ahead of schedule for 14, as I have quilted 7 this calendar year. And that last item, 'Numerous TBA Quilts,' will cover my  4-Patch Delight and Cottage Green. 


Hope you have a relaxing, productive weekend! Will it include some quilting? Mine will!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Baby Quilts Gifted

Earlier this month Sharon and I met our friend and former fellow English teacher Dee for lunch.  Big news from Dee is that she is now a grandmother, and both Sharon and I had baby quilts to give her for the new baby girl.

Rather than bother with quilts in a restaurant, we just conducted the gifting right in the windy parking lot. You've seen my contribution already - the chevron quilt in primary colors. Sharon's is much calmer - a soft gray and white rail fence design.

And in the last week or so, Dee has sent pictures of sweet little Emery - now almost 3 months old - on her new quilts. She came into the world a bit prematurely; she's just the tiniest mite of a thing!  These quilts look gigantic with such a tiny baby.

Look at that smile! She is sporting her Irish green finery in that second photo. 

It was great seeing Dee and it is good to gift another quilt. Just this week, I learned that come August our family will have yet another baby coming, so my baby quilt making will be continuing.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Blog Feature and Blockheads 4

I have added a page called 'Long Arm Finishes' that I hope you will find enjoyable. It seemed a good idea for me to keep track of what I've quilted to see how I've progressed.  If you read me from a laptop or similar device, the list of pages is in the right margin. If you read me from a mobile device, you will find a ribbon under the header with the word 'Home' and a drop-down arrow. Click that arrow to see all the pages; the new one will be close to the top. The two pictures below illustrate what I mean. To prepare the list, I located the reveal post for each quilted quilt so that I could provide a link. I am so pleased to see that I have done 34 quilts on the Tin Lizzie! Granted, several of those were small, but they still count, right?

Next I want to mention that Moda Blockheads is beginning their 4th quilt today. Every Wednesday through the summer months - about half as long as previous Blockheads Sew Alongs - a block will be revealed with instructions and all the participating designers will share their versions online. Here's a link to Moda and details on the newest Blockheads.

Because I am a Blockheads Flunk Out, I am NOT going to join in on #4. No way. However, I do think I will use this as an excuse to return to my Blockheads 1, 2, or 3 - all UFOs - and set to getting at least one of them off the to-do list. And, I will probably print out all the BH4 block patterns, just in case I would ever want them - they are free, so why not?

Let's take a peek at some of my efforts on the aforementioned UFOs.  For Blockheads 1, I believe I have only made one block. After I revisit my project bin, I will know for sure. This is the block - it's from 2017.


In 2018, Blockheads 2 came along, and since I had such resounding success with BH1, I decided to do TWO versions of BH2! What on earth was I thinking?! *smh*

Here are pictures representing the two versions. I like them both, but this round of Blockheads had blocks of all different sizes which threw me and I stopped. I knew I'd never have enough fabric for those big blocks.



 In January of 2020, Blockheads 3 began. Like the crazy quilter that I am, I joined in with all the excitement and good intentions that this time I'd do it; I'd stick with it and finish! Hmmpffff. This post details some of my poor decision making with regard to Blockheads. I won't need to go digging to see what I did on BH1 - I find out from reading this that I went back to it during BH3 and tried catching up.

I JUST HAD A LIGHT BULB MOMENT: It is no wonder I have such a messy sewing room - all these projects - samplers - all the fabrics - all the patterns - no wonder I can't stay ahead of the clutter. I set myself up for a mess. And then I compound it by doing more. Good grief.

Okay, that's about enough for today. I can't dwell on Blockheads any more right now. I am going to do one of two things today: either load a quilt onto the long arm machine, or add the border to Ocean Ripples, a Kaffe Fassett quilt I have been working on. 

Or maybe I will dabble on both. And, UFOs from all those earlier Blockheads will be on my mind.

Happy Quilting, Friends!


Tuesday, March 22, 2022

A Clean Table

While Sharon quilted on the Tin Lizzie  (see last post), I was determined to clean off my cutting table. And I did. I don't mind showing you the before and after photos of this long-overdue task.

This table is at least 6' long, and I have covered the far two-thirds of it with stacks and piles of stuff that need to be put away. The 20-30 inches of available cutting space is not nearly enough  room to be efficient with cutting and trimming. The far end of this table had reached critical mass. Here's another view of the same heaping mess.

The piles contain all manner of quilting detritus. Most of the disarray consists of the remnants of old projects. My tendency to be so gung-ho on starting the next new thing means that I don't properly deal with the scraps and leftovers of the last one. After a few months of this slovenly behavior, a cutting table becomes a chaotic scrap mountain.

Here are additional views of the lovely mess. There on top is the embroidery project I intended to work on while in Florida. I didn't make very much progress on that at all.

Add to all those leftovers, the random trial block, fun "experiment," blocks, recent purchases, rejected auditions, numerous WIPs, and random whatnot - the piles just continue to grow, becoming ever more daunting to me when I think about tackling the clean up task.

With Sharon in the next room quilting, I set aside this time to face the music. The table must be cleared.

My first move was to bring up two empty storage tubs from the basement. I'd like to think that these will just be temporary holding places, but the jury is still out on that determination. It's hasn't been a full week since the cleaning; we will have to wait and see how temporary this is.

The day's efforts were very satisfying. I did make good progress, and feel like I have gained control of this particular situation, at least. (I have plenty of other situations needing attention, but I'm currently ignoring those.)

The two tubs are full. My next step here ought to be to move these fabrics into the color-sorted tubs which already exist in my closet. That requires a bit of space and lifting, so I can see it happening, but perhaps not immediately. 

The cross-stitch project is there on top, and hidden under it is another one I uncovered. I have so many UFOs and WIPs. My focus is all over the place.

And feast your eyes on all this cleared space! Whoa! Down there at the far end is the very next scrap-busting work I plan to do. 

A closer view will show you small stacks of strips and squares. I also have some leftover pieced blocks - orphan blocks - and a small bin of scraps that need to be cut down and added to the stacks I've got started. The fabric-covered tin can is my waste basket, and seeing it full is a good sign that I'm throwing things out. 

I have worked on whittling down that tub of scraps this week, and slowly but surely I am making my way to the bottom of the tub.

This final picture shows a bit of progress. I like to cut 5" squares (charm squares), 2.5" squares and strips, 2" squares and strips, and 1.5" squares and strips. There are some odd additional squares, and I have storage for all of these tucked into a corner and under my table. All will be put in the proper box or bin eventually. The tub still looks pretty full, but honest, I have cut a lot. 

So, the once annual cleaning of the table has taken place. I would like to think I will work harder at keeping it tidy, but I am not making any promises.

Happy Quilting, Friends!