Monday, July 24, 2017

AHIQ Challenge Two, 7/23

GENTRIFICATION

Challenge number two of the HQ HQ improv challenge.

This second challenge was to take two different improv blocks and combine them into one quilt. I had eight blocks of little wonky houses which I had made using the stack and Whack method.  They were not done with any purpose in mind but just to try out the method.  They were cute and colorful and easy to make but I need to something to contrast with them.  So I got out my ugliest dirty looking scraps and improv pieced them into 8 inch blocks to match the little houses.  





The scrappy mess blocks remained me of a  city we visited and lost our way to our destination.  We came across acres of city blocks where the houses had been demolished.  Here and there an old building was still standing.  It looked like a WW Two war zone with no sign of any rebuilding.  

INSPIRATION

Back in April I happened to see on PBS an interview with Richard Florida, who had written a new book called  The New Urban Crisis.  In several large cities like New York rundown buildings have been bought cheaply and refurbished.  The neighborhoods became more desireable with the addition of new restaurants, boutique shops and an influx of more affluent tenants.  This caused real estate values to rise dramatically, making rents unaffordable for former tenants who were forced to move away from their homes, jobs and way of life.  Thus more inequality,  segregation and poverty have resulted.  

This dilemma is what I have attempted to show in my quilt.  With the advice of my fellow bloggers I chose two colors for the sashing,  the black with white bubbly dots and the bright lime green which everyone liked.   The black strips with "fencing""  divide the blocks along their sides, and the lime,green strips represent the bright new face of the neighborhood. 


I wanted a border to be cheerful and found a great price on a stylized floral at Connecting Threads.  The top was finished until I saw what Ann and Kate have posted about the next challenge.  I think words on,the border will work really well, but I've never done any before. It will really,be,a,challenge for me to add writing, but will make my message about GENTRIFICATION loud and clear.  

I expect a lot of trial and error in this third challenge.  I may need advice from some of you who are experts at this sort of thing.  I know I can count on you.  Good luck with your improv pieces. 

Thank you, Kaja and Ann,  for making Ad Hoc Improv Quilts a place where we can get encouragement to do what inspires us.  
Please have a look at Ad Hoc Improv Quilts doings at  Kaya's blog,  Sew Slowly, or Ann's blog, Fret Not Yourself








Friday, July 21, 2017

RSC17 week 29

WISHING FOR BLUE SKIES

In the past week of clouds, rain and thunderstorms I've been missing the beautiful blue skies here in the Midwest.  So I've kept busy using my blue scraps for Rainbow Scrap Challenge goals.  My final project in blues was the Geese Migration blocks.  Cynthia has inspired me to really dig in and find special blue scraps.  
The light block was easier to do than the dark one, because the dark colors tend to blur together too easily, so I had to use bits of other colors to enliven the blocks. 

Here you can compare the blocks and see the different things that stand out.




Now that I got my two tops sent off Covered In Love,  I wanted something quick, easy and colorful for a Project Linus quilt.  Jenny Doan came out with a new pattern, Fence Rail Stars, not long ago which had me drooling over her colors and the simplicity of it.  The size is just right also, about 45 inches.  She used a really colorful jelly roll which was on my wish list.  

However, I knew I could find enough bright and child themed strips in my stash.  I also found I had a 2-yard piece of a not-quite white which needed to be used. I bought it back in my first rush of online fabric buying, not realizing there are dozens of whites with fancy names that don't mix with each other. 

After gathering and piecing my sets of three strips, I happily cut them up into 6-1/2-inch squares.  Until I found that from each strip I had cut one square too short.  My non-math head doing its thing again.  However, in order to have something, anything for this blog I prepared four blocks with flip triangles and laid them out on my lovely new design floor, aka my recently replaced kitchen floor, to show you.


Since then I have found and pieced together enough strips to complete the project.  You really need to have them all at hand to do a balanced layout of colors.  This terrible weather is expected to last at least another week, so I will have the finished top to show you next week.

Until then I will also be working on my third AHIQ challenge, due next Tuesday.  I don't know what I will do for other blues, maybe some friendship stars to add to my beginnings of a QOV project.  I'm learning from many of you how handy it is to have a parts department with blocks ready to be used.

I'm anxious to see all of your fine scrappy projects so please join me at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at




Friday, July 14, 2017

RSC17 week 28

SUMMER BLUE

Blue makes me feel cool, just what I need these days.  I've made progress on a couple of fronts this week.  For a start, I completed construction of two blue houses.  Would you believe an elephant can fit in a 6-inch square house?  Well, somehow he squeezed in when my back was turned.


At the last.minute today I decided to make my blue Folded Box block.  I did really careful trimming each piece to size and had a very easy time piecing it.  Why didn't I think of that these last few months?



The major sewing project for the week, between the houses and the box, was binding my Summer Kaffe Fassett quilt.  It took almost nine jelly roll strips to do the job.  I used Bella strips in red.  I really am sold on those Bella strips, which come in a junior roll of 20 strips.  They have tiny pinking, so no fraying, and seem to fold and drape more easily,than other fabrics.  I stitched it down on the front first.  Then I did a zigzag on the back. Since the front border was such a mix of red tones, the occasional areas of zigzagging onto the border do not show at all.  

Here is a really good pic of the lovely longarm quilting.


This next photo show binding, back and front.


And finally, here is my Summer quilt on my bed.  Amazingly, for the first time in a year I slept eight hours straight.  There's just something about sleeping under your own dream quilt!


I wish you all sweet summer dreams this week.

Please join me in checking out some great scrappy quilting at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at


Thursday, July 6, 2017

RSC17 week 27

THE LIVING IS EASY

Blue skies, blue water mean summertime and here we are celebrating the red, white and blue or the Canadian maple leaf.  I watched the Capitaal Fourth celebration honoring our country and the ordinary people who make it so great.

It was easy after getting out my blues to make a patriotic star for Covered In Love this month.


My first RSC17 blue project is my row for the Crayon quilt.  I will do the points at the end.  Cathy k in Utah finished her top last week, so check her,s out.



The other things I've been working on are two tops for Covered In Love to be donated to dying patients and their families at a large hospital in Tyler, Texas.  This is run by Kat Drinkwater of Kat and Cat Quilts.

I finished the first top, formerly Tossed Salad, which will be nameless after donation.  The patient and family can name it whatever they choose.  I think some cross name would be appropriate.


Fortunately,the mailing box will have enough room for my other top, Type Face, a cheerful variation of the Color Works pattern.  It is also adult size and I just added the border to finish it off.


I had this box of fat quarters sitting around for more than two years, so between these two Quilts I have made a significant dent in my stash.  Funny, though, I can't see the stash getting smaller.

I love seeing all the amazing quilt projects each week.  The weekend is my favorite time to enjoy your posts, so please keep them coming.

Rainbow Scrap Challenge at



Friday, June 30, 2017

RSC17 week 26

GRAND FINALE

My,Kaffe Fassett summer quilt is finally finished except for the binding.  My friend, Sue Vollbrecht of Quillted Memories, did the long arm Quilting and gave it to me at our Monona Quilters meeting on Monday.


Sue used Dream cotton batting, nice and cool for summer.  She used red thread for both sides, which shows well on the back.  I chose a loose swirl pattern.  


For the 16-inch blocks I used all pre-cuts and each required only five seams.  The best part was choosing the fabrics for each block.   Here is a right side up view, showing the charm  squares in yellow.  


As soon as I attach about ten miles of red binding I will love sleeping under it with sweet dreams of more Quilts.  I wish the same for all of you.

For more scrappy fun chec out
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at






Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Covered In Love, 6/27

GOOD NEWS

l finished my Tossed Salad top for Covered In Love and showed it to my guild on Monday. 


When I checked the mailing box it took up less than half the space.  I had started work on another UFO from last year using a fat quarter bundle called Type Face purchased about three years ago.  The pattern is Colorworks, very popular in our quilt group and very simple.  A couple of months ago I finished making 120 blocks and they sat gathering dust.  
This week I joined pairs  of random blocks.  Then yesterday I called my granddaughter,  who got on the floor and laid out the pairs for twelve rows of five pairs each.  This is the layout.


So today I began piecing the strips.  Of course, when I checked the photo the  two top strips were reversed.  Imrov time.  Switching a couple of rows solved the problem.  

The good news, Kat, is I will be sending you a box with two finished tops instead of just one. This one is larger, about 60 X 75 inches.  Pray that no sewing disasters happen.  I'm thrilled to be giving you a double dip this first time contributing.  

Linking up with Covered In Love  at  katandcatquilts.blogspot.com



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

AHIQ Challenge, June 27

DELAY AND SURPRISE 

My AHIQ Callenge Two top was finished, but there was a delay in finding the right fabric, at the right price of course.  It recently arrived and I'm very happy with the choice.  Here it is with the folded quilt top.


I'm very happy with the choice, a stylized floral.  I bought enough for the backing as wall.

Meanwhile, I got sidetracked on another improv project which will become a charity donation.  In short, it was a challenge to myself to use these ugly pieces or throw them out.  I nick named the donated  repro strips and unwanted neutral 4-patches as tossed salad and soggy crackers.  See below.


What quilter could toss out these pieces?  Not I.  Suddenly the solution came to me, the way to combine them.  So I made these cross blocks to use the 2-inch strips and the patches.  The sashing and binding are from a piece bought years ago to make a dress.  It was exactly the extra something needed to tie the blocks together.  I finished it in just a week.


This top will go to  Kat and Cat Quilts.  Kat is a nurse at a large Texas hospital and her Covered In Love charity gives donated quilts to dying patients and their families, such a beautiful cause. I'm so pleased that these unwanted scraps have become a quilt to give comfort to a grieving family.

So this is my impromptu improv quilt to share this month.  I will definetly share my Challenge Two finish next month.  Thank you, Kaja and Ann,  for making Ad Hoc Improv Quilts a place where we can get encouragement to do what inspires us.  
Please have a look at Ad Hoc Improv Quilts doings at  Kaya's blog,  Sew Slowly, or Ann's blog, Fret Not Yourself




Friday, June 23, 2017

RSC17 week 25

A START AND A FINISH

With yellow winding down and all my yellow projects done, I needed something new to add to this month's stack of completed yellows.  I've been planning to do something entirely in solids for quite a while, but squirrels have come along and sidetracked me.  Not this time!

Ever since making those lovely but difficult Twinkler star blocks I've wanted an easier method.  Someplace in Quilty Blogland I found out about the Creative Grids Strippy Star ruler and finally bought one on line (with a fabric sale purchase, of course) a few weeks ago.  What color is better for a star.than yellow?  Dipping into my solid precuts, I made my first Strippy Star yesterday.


This was very easy to make and is 12-1/2 inches unfinished.  I was inspired by Mari's wonderful star quilt project.  The ruler can be used for almost any size block and I like the look of scattered stars of different sizes.  I would plan to make them in different sizes, all solids using the RSC17 colors.  So now I have one more project to reward myself with an emoji every month.

You've seen my WIP, my so-called Tossed Salad quilt top for the Covered In Love charity project run by Kat at katandcatquilts.blogspot.com.  It got finished in record time and I will show it on Monday at my guild.  


These are the pieces I have disliked for a long time, finally together and surrounded by a lovely old piece of blue floral.  That was what it needed to give it some life.  It measures about 50x60 inches.


I'm so pleased that it will go to a great cause, for hospital patients near death and their families.  I pray that it will speak of love and comfort to some family and their loved one.

Meanwhile, this week I've resurrected another UFO project to work on for Covered In Love.  I'm anxious to find out the color for July.  So far this has been a good summer here.  I wish you all a good stitching week.

For more quilting scrappy goodness, please take a peek at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Covered In Love, 6/21

A FINE FINISH

I just finished sewing the borders on the quilt, which I had been calling Tossed Salad.  In about one week I turned a bunch of old strips and about 100 neutral 4-patch blocks into a quilt that I'm happy to donate to Covered In Love.  


My granddaughter stopped by just now and kindly held the quilt for a quick photo.  It will finish about 50x60 inches.  All the fabrics were from my stash.  The sashing fabric was bought for a dress many years ago, but has been used in several quilts. 

I'm going to show it at our quilt group next Monday and then send it along to you, Kat.  I'm really delighted that all these unloved fabrics will give some comfort to people in need.

Linking up with Covered In Love  at  katandcatquilts.blogspot.com

Friday, June 16, 2017

RSC17 week 24

 STILL YELLOW

This week I worked on my final yellow blocks, two yellow Geese Migration blocks.  They were difficult to find varieties of yellow to fill the blocks.  The light and dark are not very different.


I really enjoy making these blocks each month.  They will make a great rainbow.  

The latest project that popped into my head was to use some scrappy pieces hanging around for too long.  I had a container stuffed full of 2-inch repro strips and about 100 4-patch blocks in neutrals.



These reminded me of wilted salad and soggy crackers.

I decided to make 7-1/2 inch blocks using both pieces.  I also had a large piece of navy with little flowers, plenty for sashing and borders.  I got so excited about this project that I finished the 30 blocks in three days.  Sarah came to lay them out on my apt hallway design floor.  Not a bad use for the, tossed salad and crackers.


There are some yellows in there and I'm pleased that the collection looks softly colorful.  This first,sample shows the added sashing.


This 50x60 top will go to Covered In Love at Kat and Cats for donation to dying patients and their family at the large hospital in Texas where she is a  nurse.  She has local volunteers who will quilt it.

If you want to see more rainbow fun, go on over to

Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

Friday, June 9, 2017

Posted 6/12

TOSSED SALAD

This is what was hanging around in my studio and getting very tired looking.


No, it is not edible, never was.  These 2-inch strips were from a friend who could no longer sew.  She loved repros; I do not.  I used a few pieces in my AHIQ challenge two, but what to do with these?  

I was also constantly being nagged by about 100 little neutral 4-patch blocks.  They were rejected for the challenge top.  Two nights ago a flash of inspiration hit.  Why not combine them for a charity quilt?  These are the poor rejects, about seven months old.  They remind me of soggy crqckers.


And voila!  The combination of wilted greens and soggy crackers came alive and have a purpose.


I was so excited that in less than 24 hours I have made 17 of the 25 squares I plan to use.  I have a nice dark blue with little flowers, enough for sashing and border.  I'll keep you  posted. I just had to let you know I can work with repros after all.
Take a look at other fun projects at
 Covered in Love at katandcatquilts.blogspot.com

RSC 17 week 23

 GOLDEN DAYS

Despite having a large yellow stash, it was hard to come up with a decent mix of 20 yellow strips for my crayon block.  These show my progress with the crayons so far.  I will do the tips at the end.


I took two projects to show and tell at my guild meeting this week.  The Bananas quilt is finished and I gave it to a friend whose dad called her his little monkey, so it means a lot to her.


This week I completed the Folded Box in yellow.

Ever since I saw this block posted by Julie in GA at quiltandcostumes.blogspot.com I have  been obsessed with the way the Folded Box block has a 3-D effect if done in the right choice of fabrics.  I love working with color and this block is really a challenge.  You can't tell if the 3-D effect works until you lay out the cut pieces.

There must be contrast with light, medium and dark pieces.  Some colors are a real challenge, such as red and also yellow, our color for June at RSC.  Both of those colors have a very narrow range from light to dark.  Here is my yellow block for this month.  I make them at 12 inches finished.


I was not sure if I could do this without getting the dark pieces into brown. However, the paisley print I found mixes the two shades to appear as dark gold.  It is definitely not brown.  For the light pieces I chose the brightest light yellow I could find to stand out as the main color.  And the batik is just on the edge between yellow and orange.  


For these Folded Box blocks  done so far, I use the pattern found in patchworksquares.com in the 12-inch category, but called Folded Corners.  It has a good GIF pattern in different sizes.

I've been enjoying lovely weather this week, but tomorrow they say a week of high 80s is coming, so I should get more stitching done.  Thank God for AC!  I hope all of you friends have a productive week.  For weekend fun check out the doings at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at



Thursday, June 8, 2017

Needle and Thread Thursday, 6/8

I LOVE THIS BLOCK

Ever since I saw this block posted by Julie in GA at quiltandcostumes.blogspot.com I have  been obsessed with the way the Folded Box block has a 3-D effect if done in the right choice of fabrics.  I love working with color and this block is really fun to work with.  You can't tell if the 3-D effect works until you lay out the cut pieces.

There must be contrast with light, medium and dark pieces.  Some colors are a real challenge, such as red and also yellow, the color for June at Rainbow Scrap Challenge at    http://superscrappy.blogspot.com .  Both of those colors have a very narrow range from light to dark.  Here is my yellow block for this month.  I make them at 12 inches finished.


I was not sure if I could do this without getting the dark pieces into brown. However, the paisley print I found mixes the two shades to appear as dark gold.  It is definitely not brown.  For the light pieces I chose the brightest light yellow I could find to stand out as the main color.  And the batik is just on the edge between yellow and orange.  


These Folded Box blocks are truly a WIP because I do one a month until I have a rainbow at the end of the year.  I use the pattern found in patchwork squares.com in the 12-inch category, but called Folded Corners.  It has a good GIF pattern.

I'm linking up today with Needle and Thread at myquiltinfatuation.com.

Friday, June 2, 2017

RSC17 week 22

HELLO YELLOW

Junemhas,just arrived and yellow is here.  So soon.  In fact, I just changed my calendar and ripped off June along with,May.  That's a little too fast for such a lovely month to be gone.  What about all those,dads and grads and weddings?  It needs to be a nice long month to squeeze it all in.

At least I was able to find a large yellow stash.  However, yellow is like red, with a very narrow range between light and dark. Right away I find myself having to choose the golds and even browns to create some contrast.  I thinking some lime yellows might find,their way into my blocks.  But that's okay with me.  We do whatever it takes to get the effect we want in our work.

All that to say that,the only yellows I have to,show are two little houses.



See what I mean about the brown and gold?  It's already in there.


This little house is more cheerful and someone in there likes flowers.

The last post I,had asked,your help to decide what sashing to use.  The great majority voted for the black and/or the lime.  That was like a lightbulb in my mind.  Use both!  It fits perfectly in with my theme, which I can't reveal just yet because of the Ad Hoc Improv Quilts Challenge reveal. Here is a,sneak preview of how I have combined them.


I'm having some problems with my new iPad, so I will finish and hopefully get it published.  I wish you all a fun week stitching.

Please check out Rainbow Scrap Challenge at superscrappy.blogspot.com and Oh Scrap at
quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com



Friday, May 26, 2017

RSC17 week 21

  HELP ME CHOOSE

I have been working on Ad Hoc Improv Quilts Challenge Two this month.  We must make a quilt using any two different blocks.  A while back I made eight wonky houses using a stack and whack technique.  I forget where,I found the directions, but if any of you know, please let me know.  These are 8-1/2 inches.
P.S. - Thank you, Jo , for the Stash Bee Hive 9 post for the wonky house instructions.  See comment 2 below..

The second blocks, which I just finished, are totally scrappy Improv types, a new effort for me.


They really need some sashing, so please help me decide among these different styles.


This is a quarterly challenge with plenty of time to think and change or add elements, no rush.

Because there is only a tiny bit of green above, I will show you this quilted wall hanging made around 1990, which really says spring to me.  This is the third in a series made using a block in a photo from a Michael James book.  I call it Sunlight.




As you see, I used velvets, batiks, silk, satin and ribbons to show ssunlight streaming through the trees.  It has been one of my favorites and was very improvisational also.
Have a fun week with your stitching and check out these scrappy links:

Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

Thanks, Kaya and Ann, for running this challenge.  Come check out the Ad Hoc Improv Quilts doings at  Kaya's blog,  Sew Slowly, or Ann's blog, Fret Not Yourself