Friday, February 16, 2018

RSC18 week 7

QUICK WORK

This is a shorter month and that's my only excuse for not getting much done.  My project this week used a bit of purple and a lot of pink.  It's another Project Linus top, for a  little girl this time.  I remember when pink and purple were my granddaughter's favorite colors.  That was about ten years ago.  Now, at 16, she is sophisticated in black and white.  I do miss buying clothes for little girls.  

These wide strips were a good way to use my stash, some charms, 2-1/2 inch strips and even a 4-patch strip in purple.


Unfortunately all the photos of the entire top were overexposed and not worth showing.  But this folded portion includes all of the fabrics used, in width-of-fabric repeats.  Now it is about 42x56 without a border.  

This is not a new project, but a use for a WIP.  Last fall I  really enjoyed making a simple X-block done in springtime Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  I added a white border and left it at that.


I left this hanging around until a friend saw it recently and suggested that it would make a nice tablecloth.  So here it is on my antique side table, just the thing to brighten the living room during these dull days.



What about a new sewing machine?  My daughter and I went shopping for one yesterday.  There have been so many nice improvements with the electronics in all the machines.  Even the basic ones are so much more convenient than my present machine.  

Then Beth suggested I try her newer machine to see if it would work for me.  So she is going to bring it over tomorrow for me to try.  If I like it, we can switch around machines with her and Sarah.  So hopefully I will have good news next week.

Meanwhile, i will enjoy seeing all of your latest stitching news.
See you at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at









Thursday, February 8, 2018

RSC18 week 6

PURPLE  CHALLENGE

This month is not my favorite for weather, and this year for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color, purple. When I pulled my purple stash I was really disappointed.  There are some terrific batiks, but otherwise all the rest seem very dull.  I also have very few prints to use.  I was hoping to find lovely florals, especially lilacs and violets, two of my favorite flowers.   Overall, a pretty depressing stash for me.  I'm sticking to my rule of no fabric purchases this year, so there will be slim pickings.  

However, I did find a large scrap of a gorgeous floral and used it for my first Sawtooth Star block.   




I was really surprised when the photo showed it off better than it appeared to my eyes. The slanting light seemed to bring it alive. 

The 16-patch block was not very exciting at all.  See all the pale grayish tones?  Now I have a collection of 2-1/2 inch squares which will probably get moldy in the bottom of some orner of the closet.



In order to have something to show for February, I'm making a Project Linus quilt using purple and pink strips and  charms.  The fleece backing for this is a sweet unicorn print on purple.  Some little girl will love it.  



Enough of these negative purple thoughts.  On the definetly positive side:

BIG NEWS!  

I'm going to buy myself a new sewing machine. My current one was bought twelve years ago when I retired.  It was not a high end machine and has gotten good use, but has some real drawbacks for quilting.  The throat space, between the needle and the body, is only 5-1/2 inches.  I have to turn the wheel in order to raise and lower the foot.  There are other drawbacks as well.   

I've done quite a bit of comparison shopping, mostly online, and have decided on a real quilting machine at a good price.  If the snow ever holds off this week, I hope to get to the sewing store to try it out.  Hopefully the big reveal will be next Saturday.  


I'm looking forward to seeing what all of you folks have been up to.
See you at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at



Friday, February 2, 2018

RSC18 week 5

 LIGHT BLUE FINISH

Icy blue is a better name for this January RSC18  color.  It's the color of my fingers after five minutes outside.  I can't recall such a long cold winter.  Good for quilting work anyway.  

However, my brain must have had frostbite because I completely forgot to finish my RSC18 week 3 post.  So here is my 10-inch Churn Dash block in light blue.  



I'm not sure if I'm going to continue this block monthly.  I'm trying to be consistent with my block sizes, preferably at 8 inches finished.  This allows me to mix and match them as needed.  That is my go-to size.  

This Sawtooth Star is definitely on the list.  I like making it with flying geese piecing, four fewer seams to goof up, as you will notice below.  I love choosing a central focal point, especially if there are some sparks of other colors.




  The 16-patch is on of my very favorites.  I'm happy with scrappy.



For my Christmas gift to myself I bought three books on improv quilting, all on sale of course.  I've been really inspired by Intuitive Color and Design by Jean Wells.  She is one of the masters of art quilting and includes assignments for each of several design principles.  I can recommend it for any of you who want to stretch your design boundaries.

Last year, or maybe in 2016, I made ten improv blocks according to Angela's color choices.  I will need twenty for a quilt, a good goal for this year.

Here is the 8-1//2-Inch improv block I ended up with.  I started out with lighter blue scraps, but this block wanted to go darker as well.  Sorry, Angela.  


One more strip block just snuck in.



This is going to be a great year for Rainbow Scrap Challenge and I've just pulled out my purples.

Can't wait to see all the lovely purole piecing this month, along with all the hearts.  Now if only they were filled with chocolates...

Please check out the quilt goodies at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at




Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Scrap Attack, 1/31/18

FINISH GEESE MIGRATION QUILT

My Scrap Attack goals this year are not really about scraps themselves.  They  are eleven UFO finishes and one scrap project.  I will draw a project each month from the following list:
  1. Rail Fence Star
  2. Balloons
  3. Houses
  4. Sizzle Strips
  5. Improv blocks
  6. X Block
  7. Gentrification
  8. Spinning Curves
  9. Stars Large and Small
  10. Beth's Quilt
  11. Trim all scraps
  12. Geese Migration
For this January finish I drew my Geese Migration top.  I waited until this last week of the month to work on it, in order to concentrate my  efforts on one project.   Becuase this was a Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2017 project, I finished the top last November.  


This  is a Project Linus quilt, as are most of my quilts.  So I usually use a fleece backing instead of three layers. It also is more cuddly and a whole lot cheaper.  I can buy fleece crib size blankets for about $3 each on sale.  Right now I have about ten of them on hand, because my dear daughter gave me several for Christmas.  

The top is about 45 inches square.  I considered using a wider black outer border, but for some unexplained reason I use the 1-1/2 inch strips instead.  I have no recollection at all of doing this.  A senior moment, I guess.

Today I have gotten the top quilted except for the binding.  I have not chosen any fabric for that yet.  Does that make it officially a finish?  I guess not, but at this late date my shoulders are shouting, "Enough!"  

So here is my Scrap Attack January project, which WILL get done by the end of this week.  Isn't the backing fleece just perfect!  


I've never participated in a goal quilt-along before and it has worked so well for me.  Guess all those late night college papers drummed deadlines into my head. That was back in the old days of whiteout. 


Meanwhile, you can see all the cheerful happenings today at
Scrap Attack at Sarah's blog at
This weekend 
I will also be linking up with
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at






Sunday, January 28, 2018

AHIQ Jan 2018

NEW CHALLENGE

I'm excited about the latest AHIQ challenge.  I sort of, no actually did fall off the wagon on the last challenge.  I could not find a way to include lettering that would make me happy with the result.  

This top was as far as I went.  To me it represents the idea of gentrification of neighborhoods, when old homes are refurbished or replaced and the real estate prices jump way up.  Then the existing families  may find themselves unable to afford the higher rents and are forced to move out.


However, since this was not a large quilt, more likely a wall hanging or child's quilt, I didn't feel a politically charged label was appropriate.  So it will end up being about wonky houses and improv blocks.

When I  saw the latest challenge of varied scale I remembered a few orphan blocks.  I dug them out and found a good number of blocks in different sizes with the same colors.

So these are what I'm going o work with for a start.


I've never done a quilt project in red, white and blue, so I might as well begin now.  


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, January 26, 2018

RSC18 week 4

STARS AND STRIPS

I love the Sawtooth Star block because of the variations, especially using a central focus fabric.  The first one I made last year was a  random color choice, not a Rainbow Scrap Challenge selection.



When I was deciding what blocks to use for RSC18, I chose this block.  For my January light blue blocks I made the first one by adding pink to complement the Kaffe Fassett fabric, one of my favorites. Matching the blue would have been impossible, at last with my limited stash.



My second block used this lovely fussy-cut medallion.  I apparently was not quite fussy enough, but was determined to use it.  



This week it occurred to me that I have never made any strip pieced blocks. Then I saw Kat's call for these blocks for Covered In Love, http://katandcatquilts.blogspot.com/.

I do have miles of strips taking up space and found some ugly fabric to use for the foundation, another way to shrink my  stash.  (This is my year of no fabric purchases.)  

Here are the three strip blocks I made in no time at all, and I cut up several other 10-1/2 inch backing pieces.  


I don't know why it never occurred to me to make these blocks years ago, but better late than never. My stash is already thanking me. 

My Scrap Attack choice for this month is my Geese Migration quilt and I started Quilting it today.  So I will have that finish to show you next week.

I'm linking up with
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at
and
katandcatquilts.blogspot.comCovered In Love




Friday, January 12, 2018

RSC 18 week 2

2017 FAVORITES

Having seen so many year end reviews by my quilting friends, I went through my own pics to choose my five top favorites.   This includes only totally finished quilts, which leaves out some of my most popular ones, still in the works.  

Of course, this post allows me to delay showing my latest projects, which amount to very little at the moment.  If I really get going I may be able to fill in the last two Saturdays this month.  I'm doing the Scrap Attack, which is a fun way for me to have workable monthly goals.  I've never done anything about goal setting before, so I expect to make a good dent in my UFOs.

Number five is my first Ad Hoc Improv Quilt challenge piece.  This was using Chinese coins in an improv way.  I added extra components, including a rising sun and orange bits of light representing sprouting seeds.  A number of the strips were pieced horizontally also, to break up the straight lines in the dark earth.  I call it Seeds of Hope.



In fourth place I chose a Color Works pattern, using a collection of fat eighths which were getting dusty.  I called it Type Face because of its colorful variety of typewriter keys of all sizes.  I sent the top to Kat for her Covered In Love charity.  She had it quilted by her generous friends in Texas, and the chaplain of the hospital where she works presented it to a grieving family.  




Number three is what started out as a crayon quilt.  I pieced all the rows but didn't get around to making the points.  So it was easier to make a rainbow, another Project Linus piece.  



My choice for second place is the set of 16-patch blocks from RSC16.  Yes another Rainbow.  In my stash I found a bright banana print and added corner 9-patches to make it a good size.  I backed it with  a monkey print fleece.  I hated giving it up, but some child is enjoying it now.





My number one for 2017 was a super easy choice, my Summer quilt for my own bed.  I had collected a group of Kaffe Fassett precuts and used them to make large blocks.  I had it longarmed by a member of my guild, Monona Quilters.  I'm so happy with it, and it has turned out to be warm enough to use year round.  



Looking back, it was a good year for my quilting output.  I really enjoy doing charity quilts now that my family has been supplied.  I loved seeing so many truly special quilts that so many of you have made.  It's like an ongoing quilt show each week.  I know that 2018 is going to be an even better year for all of us.  

I'll be waiting to see what everyone has done at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at
and
katandcatquilts.blogspot.comCovered In Love


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

RSC18 week 1


A FLYING START

This year I'm taking part in Scrap Attack and drawing a project to work on each month.  My 12 projects are all UFOs to be finished.  Here's my pot and the January pick.


My Geese Migration flimsy is up for completion by the end of the month, a flying start for 2018.



Before I get to that I need to finish my Waterfront Neighborhood project.  I'm piecing three rows of houses and trees, plus two rows of sailboats.  The houses are from a Rainbow Scrap Challenge, not sure which year, and the boats are a couple of years old.  The little trees were the most difficult to piece and were made to extend the rows to 40 inches.  


Row quilts are one of my favorite Project Linus quilts.  I usually make them about 45x60.  Then I back each with a colorful fleece blanket which can be found for about 3-5 dollars on sale.  For Christmas my daughter surprised me with six more of them.  

We are still frozen solid for the third week now, as so many of you are.  If it warms up enough we could get some snow.  At least it's not as bad as the high tide of slush in Boston.  I pray that all of you dear quilter friends will have a blessed and Happy New Year.  Go LIGHT BLUE!

Please check out the quilt goodies at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

Friday, December 29, 2017

RSC17 week 52

GIFT REVEAL

This was the first year I have given Quilty gifts, kind of a last minute idea.  I decided to make quilted baskets like Joy at The Joyful Quilter. I started by making three stip panels, one for each basket.  The first was for my granddaughter in her favorite red, blue and yellow colors.  
It turned out to be much more work for me than I thought.  I kept having to make changes because I measured wrong, etc.  Here is the saggy finish.


When this was done I decided that the other two, for my daughter and her SIL, a former quilter, would be carryall bags, lots easier.  The one for my daughter, in her favorite turquoise, went very well.
The back was a green print like the handles.



The last one in purple and turqouise was a really big hit with SIL.  She loved that I had unknowingly backed it with her favorite fabric, which she had donated to me when she quit quilting to take up paper crafting.




I'm looking forward to 2018 to work on my monthly Scrap Attack goals, which are all UFOs.  If you have not heard about Scrap Attack, it is a fun way to have a monthly goal.  It was a great idea from Sarah at  Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  

Wishing all of you dear friends a Blessed and Happy New Year.

Meanwhile, you can see all the cheerful happenings at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Scrap Attack, 12/28/17

The Scrqp Attack plan came just in time for me to tackle some much needed work on my encroaching fabric stash.  Here is the evidence.

June, 2015 This was the state of this fabric storage area back then.  I had just obtained the blue stacking unit and thought it was the answer to my problems.  



Obviously I was way off course.  I started buying fabric online with every sale I found.  Here is the result now, a whole wall full two layers deep.



So here are my Scrqp Attack goals, all UFOs, some of which are stacked in a pile on top on the right side.

Quilt and bind all the following:
  1. Rail Fence Star
  2. Balloons
  3. Houses
  4. Sizzle Strips
  5. Improv blocks
  6. X Block
  7. Gentrification
  8. Spinning Curves
  9. Stars Large and Small
  10. Beth's Quilt
  11. Trim all scraps
  12. Geese Migration

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

AHIQ, 12/27

BATIK IMPROV QUILT

I made this quilt top using half a drawer full of batik strips that I had no use for.  My daughter saw it and asked if she could have it.  Since I have not made her a quilt since she was 14, it's about time because her daughter is now 16 and I've made her two Quilts.  


I cut each paired strip set into 10-inch pieces and added the orange bits here and there to spark things up.  

Thanks for the AHIQ challenge this year.  I did enjoy working on the challenge steps on another top, but have not done the lettering yet.  Still debating on how to get that done. 
Looking forward to linking up again. Happy New Year!

Please have a look at Ad Hoc Improv Quilts doings at  Kaya's blog,  Sew Slowly, or Ann's blog, Fret Not Yourself

Friday, December 22, 2017

RSC week 51

MY OLDEST QUILT

For this Christmas weekend I'm showing you a quilt with red and green appliqué. It was the very first quilt I ever had.


As a new bride I was decorating our first home in California and chose rose colored shag carpet for the bedroom (this was back in the mid 60's of course).  I was buying antique furniture and came across this quilt for sale. Because it was perfect for our bed and knowing nothing about quilts, I enjoyed using it.  I grew up in Rhode Island and, to my knowledge, had never seen any quilts.  However, blue and white woven coverlets were common there, made in the New England textile mills.

I knew this quilt was old and guessed it was from the 1930's.  I began reading about quilts and realized that mine was older.  The colors were older dyes and the red, made using harsh mordants, has begun to disintegrate.  The green appears to be blue over yellow.  The appliqué was done with blanket stitching.


 
 A few years later I ordered a free sample copy of Quilters Newsletter, about a dozen black and white pages. It might have been their first issue in 1969. I sure wish I had it today.  It showed a drawing of my quilt block, called a Harrison Rose variation.  William Henry Harrison, a military hero and the Whig party candidate, was elected President in 1840.  Harrison died after only one month in office and his memory was honored in the Whig Rose or Harrison Rose quilts.  

In addition I found that there were hearts quilted in the muslin areas.  These were used for brides' quilts.  



Overall, each row of blocks  is different.  Some have extra flowers added.  Each of the three appliqué borders has different flowers, as if the makers were down to their last red scraps. The fourth side has no border except the muslin, often used with pillow shams covering it.



Because I bought the quilt in the  San Francisco area, I like to imagine a young bride from a modest home setting out with her husband in a covered wagon, with families who were seeking a new life in the West.  What stories that quilt could tell!  

That also began my search for other antique quilts, many not in perfect shape, which needed a good home.  I have many now, including a collection of doll quilts.  It was not until 1980 in Spokane that I took up quilting, and now have another home among all you wonderful quilt bloggers.



From my home to yours, may these days of celebration bring love and joy to you all, and may God bless you richly.

Join me in the fun of checking out the wonderful things folks are doing at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at


Friday, December 15, 2017

RSC17 week 50

MANY COLORS

The fact that Christmas is coming quickly did not deter me from starting three quilted gifts.  I've never tried the pattern before, but believed every word Joy at The Joyful Quilter told us about how easy and fun this project is.  If I find out differently in the coming days, she is the one to blame.  

Here are the three stacks of strips I gathered for piecing each one. 


So far I have finished the piecing on two of them and working on the last one.  Then the real challenge begins for me, to assemble these gifts ASAP.  


That's all I've been doing this week, so I'm sharing an antique quilt from my collection.  It goes so nicely over my wing chair and adds more Christmas cheer.  It is a Courthouse Steps log cabin variation from around 1900 and is made of heavier fabric, perhaps for draperies or winter dresses. The closeup gives you a feel for the texture.    



It was given to me by a woman who wanted to know the age of another quilt and then offered it to me for free, to give it a good home.  It joined my other old adopted quilts and is truly loved.

I hope you all have a happy and peaceful holiday season.

Meanwhile, you can see all the cheerful happenings at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

Friday, December 8, 2017

RSC17 week 49

PLAYTIME

This week has been playtime for me.  In other words, neglecting the finishing quilting and binding on three quilts while getting into some new projects and having fun with them instead.  Does that sound familiar to anyone?   

I don't have any set deadlines right now, no promises made that I can't keep.  But last week I awoke one morning and a Project Linus quilt idea popped into my head full blown.   I had a layer cake stack of animal prints which I had bought for fussy cutting.  They are not in my usual bright colors.  However, a roll of Grunge strips inspired me to do a quilt with those and the animals.  Turqouise and warm orange are included in the prints.  

To make it as quick and easy as possible, I decided on a row quilt, where ther is no seam matching and anything goes.  Here is my first idea laid out on my design floor.


In this case the white pieces act like another bright, versus beige.  So it will be quite lively for a child.  Finding backing fabrics won't be a problem. My bulging stash will breathe a sigh of relief to lose some weight.
  I'm calling this one Waterfront Property.


The other project is my RSC17 or RSC16 neglected blocks, houses and little boats.  As I mentioned before, I've been making some trees for my neighborhood.  Finally I decided to use these three blocks in a row quilt rather than just the house blocks alone.  I even found some cute ocean fabric which I had bought to use with the boats.


The layout here comes right off of my graph paper mockup.  I haven't named this one yet.


The end result has been playing with my blocks and having a good time.  Even if I work on the WIPs I will still be cheered by thinking and planning for these fun row quilts.  

I'm not doing any Christmas Quilting projects this year.  I don't need the pressure.

Join me in the fun of checking out the wonderful things folks are doing at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

RSC17 week 47, 11/25

 A NOT-YET-FINAL FINISH

Here is the fastest quilt I've ever made.   I plan to show it at my guild soon.  I showed the process last week and finished the flimsie. 

  It was finished with a narrow orange batik border.  The wide outer border was cut from a wide batik backing I've had for seven years, which was way too long to hide in my closet.


The finished size is 60 X  70 inches.  I named it Southwest Daybreak.  


That is when my plans changed.  I was writing a post to Kat to offer it to her at 
katandcatquilts.blogspot.comCovered In Love

 Just then my daughter stopped by with some groceries.  She took one look at it and loved it.  I made my first quilt all by hand for her when she was 14, an Irish Chain done before rotary cutters and mats.  
As for this one, the size for quilting was intimidating.  She then said she would prefer to have a fleece backing like many I've made for Project Linus.  I gave her the okay because that's not as bulky to manage.

Naturally, she went right down to Joanne's and they had a great supply of fleece at pre-Black Friday sale prices.  Here is what she came up with for the back.



Meanwhile I've been working on a plan for my Geese Migration blocks.  I'm not including the multicolored ones from last April, so the remaining 16 make a nice layout.  I plan to use black sashing and will see what comes next.  



I hope everyone is having a good weekend and not spending too too much on fabric.  I've made a purchase from Craftsy, but one was a pack of Olfa blades.  They really do last longer.  That was very practical, wasn't it?  That's all I have to say for now.  Have a fun week! 

I'll be waiting to see what everyone has done at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at