Monday, September 26, 2016

Blogger's Quilt Festival

     At the last minute I decided to enter a couple of quilts in the online quilt festival over at Amy's Creative Side. There are some beautiful quilts to browse through, so hop on over and vote for your favorite. 
 I am entering Allitare in the Free Motion Quilting category.

And my Blue Orange Peel in the appliqué category.
There is lots of eye candy, I know you will enjoy the show.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Nine Patch Swap

     One of my favorite Quilt Guild activities is swapping stuff, any kind of swapping; strips, charms, blocks.  Our Swap Queen, Gina plans our swaps and they vary by the month and year.  We do some type of fabric swap every month and then do a block swap over a period of time, six months or a year. Currently, we are doing tiny (3-1/2") Civil War nine patches and little red/white blocks.  Last year, we did 6-1/2" scrappy nine patches in Autumn colors and I brought 80 blocks home at the end of the year.  Wow!  What a bonanza!  They have inspired lots of Internet and magazine browsing, looking for different ideas for using them.  I finally settled on Sisters Choice, a free pattern on the Bonnie Hunter website. My plan was to make it for a donation quilt, but I love it so much that it may have to live with me awhile before moving on.
All of the setting fabrics came from stash, some of it well-aged.  The star point fabric was originally purchased at a quilter's estate sale, so I'm sure it was well-aged too.  The sawtooth border was constructed from the bonus triangles from the sew and flip star points.  I still have more of those to use in another project.
     With that quilt to the flimsy stage, I decided to have some fun with experimenting with a new technique.  New to me anyway.  
     I've had this book for awhile, and have been interested in trying this technique. I thought it would be fun to experiment with Halloween fabrics.
 You sew strips together into a tube, then slice into blocks, using the 90degree line on a ruler.
They look like a string block, but are much faster with no paper to tear off. The downside?  They have bias edges. So, out came the Best Press.  The instructions made an 11" block, but called for  42" strips.  Most of my scraps were from fat quarters, so I adapted the pattern and made strip sets with 4 strips instead of 8, avoiding a lot of wasted fabric.

     Now, what do do with those cute little blocks?  I found a panel in that scrap bin that someone had given me.  I had always liked it because of the dancing witches.  The little string blocks made a great side border and I soon had another flimsy to add to the TBQ (to be quilted) stack.
Often, my experimental blocks end up in the orphanage, so it was nice to have something to show for an afternoon's playtime.
The scraps got cut into these little pieced strips to use in something else.  What is my takeaway from this little experiment?  Not a good scrap buster, because it creates more scraps.  A quick method to make big blocks from WOF strips, like a jelly roll, but not as efficient for shorter strips.  Then there are those bias edges, which I dislike.  Will I use it again?  Probably not, but never say never.
Meanwhile, I'll keep on stitchin'.
PS;  I'm linking up with Cynthia at and Judy at today.  You'll find lots of fun there.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

RSC August 2016

  My collection of Civil War blocks in the colors of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is growing, but as you can see, I didn't follow the suggested colors this month.  The colors were smoky purple or grey.  I had used my purples when it was assigned earlier, so didn't want to use it again.  I just chose some fabrics I hadn't used yet.  
     For my donation quilt, I had purchased this cute elephant fabric awhile back
and have been waiting to use it. ( Just watch, the September color will be red)  Anyway, I searched the strip bins for some reds and black/white scraps and made some framed nine-patches to go with my elephants.  Very simple, but some little guy should like it.
Here is the binding
   and the backing.  Now it goes into the TBQ pile, which really isn't too large.  I think this is #3 and they are all crib size.  
I probably won't link up with So Scrappy this time since I didn't use the assigned color.  Just in case there really is a quilt police department.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

This and That

         I just realized it has been over a month since I wrote a post for my blog.  Just in case anyone out there has noticed, I will catch you up.  I'm not sure my pictures are in the correct sequence, but it will be a brief overview.

    There were peaches to be harvested before the squirrels, raccoons, and/or deer ate them first.  Then there were peaches to be peeled, bagged and frozen as well as jam to make.  My grandsons would be terribly disappointed if there was no peach jam.  

    Then, there was Drama Camp for all of the younger members of the family. This crew is composed of granddaughters, great niece and great nephews.  They were here from Sunday thru Friday, as well as one of the Moms.  Cooking for 9 every day was a pretty full week.

   I have completed a few sewing projects.  This is a table topper I made for my neighbor.  Her husband passed in February and this is made from his ties.  I had never done anything with ties before, but it went very smoothly.  She has it displayed on an antique desk which belonged to her grandmother.

   Here's an idea!  I was constantly chasing a Kleenex or paper towel to erase writing on our kitchen whiteboard.  That led to wondering if a scrap of batting would work, then this happened.  1-1/2" squares from the scrap bin and a piece of scrap batting makes a great eraser.  That is a magnet holding it on the board.  Shall I patent it?

    I was invited to Gina's to sew last week, so wanted to take her a little something.  She loves pincushions as much as I do, so I whipped up this little Broken Dishes block from some batik cut offs I scavenged from Quilt Camp in May.  I think she liked it.

Birthday Blocks from 2013!
  So glad to get this put together and quilted.  This is my declared UFO for quilt guild (check) and moves me to the baggage car on Stashbusters (check), as well as finishes one of my oldest UFOs (check) and finally, used some stash (check).  It is a little larger than I usually make, 80" x 80".  
    That was my July.  How was yours?

Friday, July 1, 2016

Nautical Knots

      I don't think I am the only quilter who has been obsessed with the latest internet buzz on the garlic knot block.  Bonnie Hunter featured them on her last quilt cam, apparently, and I keep seeing references to them on Facebook, chat groups, etc.  I looked for my issue of Quiltmaker that was supposed to have it in the Addicted to Scraps column, but couldn't find it.  Its in this house somewhere, but thats another subject.  I did see a post from someone else that said it is a traditional block called Arrowhead Puzzle, but my 501 Quilt Blocks book didn't have it.  After chasing this block all over my house and the internet, I finally decided to draft it myself and get it out of my head. How hard could it be?  Its just squares and rectangles.  My first adventure with it took place with my scraps from the Seven Sisters topper from our guild workshop.  There were some 2-1/4" scraps, which I cut down to 2' and made a Christmas Knot.  It finished at 6-1/2" and is cute as a button.

     I thought this would satisfy my obsession, but alas, it wasn't to be.  With the 4th of July rapidly approaching, I had a yen to sew with patriotic fabrics, so out came the red and blue scrap bins.  Suddenly, this little table topper appeared on my design wall.  I'm calling it "Nautical Knots".

     Just in case, anyone else is having garlic knots or arrowhead puzzles swarming in their heads, here is a short tutorial on the one I drafted.
Fabric requirements:
Nautical print - 1/2 yard
Red accent - FQ
Kona Snow background - 1/4 yd.

For each block, cut the following;
6) 2-1/2" squares of nautical print 
2) 2-1/2" squares of red accent
4) 2-1/2" squares of background
2) 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" rectangles of background

Make 2 small blocks in this configuration with a background rectangle and square,
plus a square of the nautical print.
     Make 2 small blocks in this configuration with two nautical squares, an accent square, and a background square.

Make a larger 4-patch with your four components in this configuration.

     This completes the 8-1/2' knot block.  To make the topper, make four of the knot blocks and arrange with the four blocks as the center.  My inner border was cut 1-1/4" to finish at 3/4" and my outer border was cut at 3-1/2 to finish at 3".  The topper will finish at 23".  

     If you get the urge to make one of these, be sure to share it in the comments section.  
Have a great 4th of July!


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Seven Fancy Sisters

     My Quilt Guild recently sponsored a workshop featuring the Seven Sisters quilt pattern which requires Y seams or a partial seaming technique.  This is a quilt pattern I had always admired, but found very intimating because of this technique.  Kelly Ashton ( taught the class and soon had all of us sewing partial seams like pros.  Here's a photo of us at the end of the day, proudly showing our progress.
     (Photo is courtesy of Kelly Ashton Quilting Lectures and Workshops Facebook page)

   The emails have been flying as friends are finishing their projects.  I will share the ones I have received to date.  



Gina's, in progress

      And mine.  

      I have had these fabrics since last summer, ordered from the Renee Nanneman website. I love that tree print with the black background.  It just had to be the border.  I was happy to have a fun project to test these lovelies.  The stars and background only required a few 2-1/4" strips for the diamond and triangle shapes, so I have a little of each print left for another project.  I actually trimmed down the scraps to 2" strips and tested a block that has been the subject of lots of Internet chatter for the last couple of weeks.  Can you guess?  More about that in a subsequent post.

Monday, June 27, 2016

RSC June 2016

     Better late than never, right?  I was traveling the first two weeks of June, a driving tour of the National Parks of California.  We saw some beautiful country, my favorite being Yosemite National Park.

Just beautiful, isn't it?

     I came home with a cold, so it took a few days before I was ready to attempt catching up with my sewing.  After checking my stash for the beach colors designated this month, I thought about just skipping June as there was one piece in an aqua and it had cows on it.  Not exactly beach style.  I couldn't believe how very little blues and greens there were in those shades.  Lots of olive and leaf greens, lots of navy blues and country blues.  Obviously, some stash enhancement needs to happen.  I did find a panel I recently purchased to make my charity boy quilt.  It is a port scene with ships, etc. so added some strips of coordinating colors and that took care of that personal commitment.  

Just a flimsy at this point.  I think some little boy will have fun with it once it is quilted and bound.

My two Father's Choice blocks were difficult too, as beach colors don't usually reside in my Civil War bin.  I did find some blues tending toward a teal to make those blocks.  They sew up so fast now that I've made six months of them.  
     I now have twelve of these and plan to have twenty-four by the end of the year.  It should make a large quilt depending on the setting.  I've been thinking about that a little, mostly about some type of sashing.  Any suggestions? 
    Linking up (very late) with SoScrappy.
     There is a lesson in this blogpost.  When you get discouraged about being behind on your projects or your commitments, you just ......
Start stitching,