Friday, April 20, 2018

RSC18 week 16

DOLL QUILTS, PART ONE


Years ago I began to collect old  doll quilts, before they became too expensive.  Now I've decided to show them so other doll and quilt lovers can enjoy these vintage delights.

The smallest of these is a pair of tiny dollhouse bed quilts, about 4 X 6 inches.  The colors are typical of the 1920's to 1940's period.  These have the lavender popular then, as well as the cute little toys and sweet florals of that time, done in peach, soft blue and yellow.  The quilting is done in the ditch.



The next photo shows a pair of mini quilts of the same vintage.  The patches set on the diagonal are about 5/8's of an inch.  The colors are much the same with the addition of more dark blues and the bright red polka dots.  The Sunbonnet Sue is quilted, but has no batting.  It is pieced from the typical light green and could have been an orphan block from another quilt project.  Both of these pieces do not show any careful quilting stitches, just a way to make something from scraps.




Finally the red and chrome yellow potholder is backed with a heavy drapery fabric and backed with a heavy drapery fabric.  It also has a pink bias tape loop clumsily stitched on, like the very irregular  large quilting stitches.  




All of these quilted pieces from my mother's girlhood speak  to me of her daily life in times of the need for thrift and usefulness that girls and women met with creativity and care.

I hope you will share your thoughts about these delightful vintage treasures.  Check other ideas at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at
   soscrappy  and
Oh, Scrap! at 

Friday, April 13, 2018

RSC 18 week 15

BLOOPER AND FINISH

This week was sort of a stop and start period.  I was working on quilting on my pink Project Linus quilt. My shoulders would get so sore I would have to limit my sessions to one or two lines of quilting.  Then came the binding.  I'm lucky to have almost two yards of a very adaptable fabric, irregular stripes of several colors.  It seems to blend with so many fabrics, so I'm going to keep it for binding.  


So by fits and starts I finished the quilt today, after breaking four, yes four machine needles.  I finally found the cause today when I found a loose screw, causing the needles to bend and snap.  Fortunately I had plenty of spares.  

Here is my finished quilt, all set to go to our guild charity day on May 14.  



Today I rushed to make a yellow Sawtooth Star block for my monthly RSC18 collection.  In my haste I did not check back on any of my other blocks, like the pink monkeys on the lime green, which I did last month.  So this is my blooper block.  Maybe I should give it a name sometime.



I guess it will go into my orphan block stash.  We never know when they might find a home.  

That's about it for news here.  I'm still waiting to see some actual green growth. I hard someone say they saw some tulip leaves popping up, but that's all.  I look forward to seeing lots of lovely quilts and maybe some pretty flowers from all of you.

Please visit other quilter friends at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at
   soscrappy  and
Oh, Scrap! at 




Friday, April 6, 2018

RSC18 week 14

SNOW, PLEASE GO

We've had enough snow, but it's still coming down. It's not bad, like up north,  but it just makes me so hungry for sunshine and temps way up into the 40's.  

However, thanks to a thoughtful friend, I have a sweet little daffodil sitting by my window.

 

I hope you have all had a happy Easter week or school vacation.  I visited my daughter's family. My granddaughter never stops running from one extra class to another.  She has begun taking college level classes as a junior.  She is following in her mother's footsteps.  We had a wonderful day, with lots of good food and laughter.
 
As for RSC yellow, I haven't yet done anything but sort through my stash.  However, I'm working to finish a Project Linus quilt for our guild charity collection in May.  


I know that it looks terribly wrinkled in this photo, but that is misleading.  After working on the quilting those parallel lines my arm muscles were vigorously protesting, so I have just four or five more rows to finish.

Here is a look at some of the cute fabrics including some yellow bits.


As you can see, I have even added the last of my purple 4-patch blocks from Bonnie Hunter's En Provence project.  

I'm really looking forward to hearing about your Spring (or Fall) doings.  Have a fun week! 

Please visit other quilter friends at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at
   soscrappy  and
Oh, Scrap! at 





Saturday, March 31, 2018

RSC18 week 13

EASTER MEMORIES

In my mother's family, originally from Poland, Easter was the most important holiday of the year.  We always got together at my aunt and uncle's house for dinner on their long sunroom porch.  The menu was always the same.  

We started with borscht, an old family version.  It was basically just plain beet soup.  We each chose extra ingredients for our bowls.  There was Polish kielbasa from the Polish deli, hard boiled eggs and freshly made beet horseradish.  My father, fourth-generation Irish, had to grind the beets and horseradish out in the backyard because it was so strong. The rest of the dinner included ham, golombki (stuffed cabbage rolls), way too much good food and was topped off by my Aunt Laura's pies.

As the only teenager, after dinner I would avoid the dishwashing with the women by taking a hike into the surrounding rocky New England fields.  I also wanted to get away from my pesky younger sister and cousins.

I still love to make golombki every year and now celebrate with my daughter and her family.  

My favorite part of the Easter season is the appearance of spring flowers.  This year we have not yet had any here in Wisconson. So here's a blouquet from me to all of you, whatever you are doing this weekend.


Happy springtime, everyone, and may God bless you richly.

Please visit other quilter friends at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at
   soscrappy  and
Oh, Scrap! at 



Friday, March 23, 2018

RSC18 week 12

SPRING GREEN?

I'm still waiting for any sign of spring here in Wisconsin.  Please send me some if you have it, to tide me over until April.  Having spent many years in California and Washington State, it's such a long winter here.  

However, I have been keeping busy with my green fabrics, so cheerful.  The first one is a baby top I just finished piecing.  It makes me feel happy just looking at it. Right now I'm just calling it The Zoo.  

  
I'm leaving it about 35 inches square after a border or two is added. 

My other project is an adult-sized quilt to donate to Covered In Love.  What better way to use my stash than to bring some comfort to grieving families.  Kat gets them to the chaplain at the hospital in Texas where she works.  She says that you never know what scrap of fabric in a quilt might touch the heart of the recipient, perhaps a cat or a special flower, so anything is welcome.  

Here is a sample of the charm squares with grey spacers which have a soft homey feel.


I've got almost all of the 100-plus blocks completed,  This one has almost every color except purple, so I can carry it over until the Rainbow Scrap Challenge April color.  

I was sorry to hear that Mari and others on the East Coast had to dig out from that huge snowstorm.  The good thing is that snow does not seem to harm the fresh growth of greenery and flowers.  I hope all of you have a burst of springtime energy this week.  


Rainbow Scrap Challenge at
Please also check out 
katandcatquilts.blogspot.comCovered In Love


Friday, March 16, 2018

RSC 18 week 11

 GREEN JUNGLE  

It's a jungle out there in my studio this week.  Everything is green and filled with wild critters.  I've been having fun playing with them all.

My first find in my stash was pink monkeys scrambling all over a lime green solid.  They were just begging me to add them to my next Sawtooth Star block.  It was tough trying to get a couple of them to be still long enough to fussy cut them, but I finally outlasted them.  You'd better take a quick peek before they scamper away.


These are very clever fellas.  You can just see that the one on the left is starting to pull apart the fencing so they can escape.  I caught him in the nick of time.  

I've also been busy prepping some cute jungle animals which fit perfectly in the lime green jungle.  I plan to make a brick pattern with these 10-inch cuts.


Aren't they the cutest wild animals ever?  They should make some young child very happy.  Of course, I will be making another Project Linus quilt.  

Have to sign off now.  Top O' the Mornin' to all on this St Patrick's Day.




See you at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

Friday, March 9, 2018

RSC18 week 10

LIME GREEN

This month the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color is lime green, one of my favorite colors.  It's so bright and full of life, the first signs of spring, the little leaves of daffodils popping up in the dead grass.  

The first block I'm sharing is one that I made about a year ago.  It never did fit in any color category.  I decided to try making a Sawtooth Star block and chose these colorful fabrics for practice.


Now I get a chance to show this block, one of my favorites.  I'm continuing Sawtooth Star in RSC18.  

For my second BOM I'm doing the 16-patch again this year.  This was a bit of a challenge in lime, using quite a few fussy-cut pieces. So many cute critters here.



I'm very happy to show you my finished Rainbow Geese Migration quilt.  I broke my older sewing machine while stitching the last of the binding.  Now that my daughter has given me her computerized Brother machine the first thing I did was finish that binding, with no further incidents.  Just in time to show it off at Cynthia's Geese Migration wrap up.




And here is a lovely scene in a local park.  My friend has been feeding domesticated geese there for many years.  They are larger than the migratory Canada geese that congregate here along with wild malard ducks.


These geese do not migrate and do benefit from the extra food provided during the winter months. It was a  beautiful sunny and windless afternoon, a really special time.

There is no new growth here yet, but spring will be here very soon.  We will all be happy for that.

Have a good week, everyone.
I'll be seeing you at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at






Friday, March 2, 2018

RSC18 week 9

AT LAST

We are finally finished with purple.  February seemed to be the longest month this year, just dragging on. I am sick and tired of purple!  Thank you, thank you, Angela for bright light green this month.  I won't see any spring growth here in Wisconsin for about another month, but I can play with my fabrics and fill my heart with spring.  In fact, we can hear birds chirping again and just now I can hear the coo, coo of a mourning dove.

Great news!  After my 13-year-old sewing machine bit the dust, my daughter gave me a lovely fully automated, computerized Brother which she was not using.  


As you can see, it has all the bells and whistles and shortcuts I could want.  However, that does not mean I've been sewing up a storm.  It's been several days of slogging through the manual, figuring out how to make it run.  With my shaky hands it took about an hour for me to get it threaded and a bobbin filled after dropping a bunch of those colorless things everywhere.

The other problem is my custom sewing table, which needs a new inset for this machine.  I spent about another hour just now attempting to order it with an outdated credit card.  Finally got that done this Friday afternoon, so it won't be here until Wednesday.  Does this whole tale sound like I'm losing my mind?  It couldn't be old age...

On the bright side, I got as far as finding a surprise of some nice light green fabrics in my stash.


Aren't they pretty?  I'm going to get busy hunting for lime greens and I hope that by next week I will be able to post photos of some new blocks for you to enjoy with me.

Hsave a good week, everyone.
I'll be seeing you at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at



Friday, February 23, 2018

RSC18 week 8

SAD FAREWELL

The other day my well-used sewing machine bit the dust.  I was shopping for a new one and waiting for my daughter to bring me one of hers to try out.  However, tragedy struck before this could happen. Well, tragedy is overstating it, but my feeling of loss was quite real.  

It happened two days ago. I was working on my January Scrap Attack goal, finishing binding my Rainbow Geese quilt, when the needle broke right off.  That was okay and I tried to replace it.  However, with my clumsy attempts I broke off the needle holder itself and was unable to reattach it.  Here's the quilt with the unfinished side hidden.  



Suddenly I had time on my hands with nothing to do and realized how much I actually do with my machine each day.  Reading or cleaning  closets did not fill that void.  Last night was the end of the Olymplics figure skating as well. 

So I went hunting through my sewing room and finally found a large number of purple 4-patches hidden  away.  They were part of a Bonnie Hunter challenge which I never completed.  To show you all that I have done some purple work this week, I laid out this block on my slippery design  floor.  I just had to have more than one photo for this post.  



This is just a fraction of the patches which would make a baby quilt.  I'm thinking I could use them to frame some cute panel, or as a border for my pink and purple crib quilt.  

So that's all the news from here this week, other than the fact that most of the snow has melted and my fingers are no longer frozen.

Have a good week, everyone.
I'll be seeing you at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at



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