Friday, September 20, 2019

Row x Row, kid's quilt

After receiving a box of scrap novelty fabrics, (yes, another!) I made this little Row x Row kids quilt.  The rows were just plain fun to make up, but organizing them in a visually pleasing order was a whole 'nuther thing!  And they didn't end up the way I had planned, nor in the "right" way,  but ... some child will love it.  Those are cats in the dark row, and birds in the 2 wide light rows.    In the center are little 2 inch, fussy cut cat squares.  (BTW, 2 in. is toooo small - don't go there.)

After eternally messing about with an almost-cohesively laid out order, I will give a LOT more credit to those designers who make BEAUTIFUL, balanced,  Row x Row quilts. 

Here is the back, also gifted fabric, all printed with holiday and season-type motifs, even a quilt block - CUTE!  This will be donated to Hugs and Stitches Quilts, sponsored by my LQS. 

Friday, August 30, 2019

QAYG in Blue, DONE

Finished this morning - yeahhhh!  Front and back.  The consistent center strips are a handkerchief blue and white.  I've been trying to use up that handkerchief blue for years, never finding a good spot.  However, cut it narrow enough it looks great as a sashing on the back and binding.  Finished size is about 42" x 56".  This will be a donated Hugs and Stitches quilt, after a Guild Show and Tell.
Hah, you might notice the remains of a NUT on the quilt, dropped from a squirrel who was watching what I was doing!  (No, it's not a you-know-what!)

I am noticing how clever the back looks just as a regular quilt, perhaps using 6 in. squares from my 14 lb. box of novelties from my blogging friend.

(hmmmmm next project, here I come! )

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

QAYG, in Blue

QAYG = quilt as you go, in case that word is new to you.  It's been a month since I started a QAYG, in PINK.  PINK was delivered to the intended recipient a few days ago, so the last few days, I've been working on this one in BLUE.  Some of these fabrics are mine, some purchased from a Scrap Bag from Hawthorne Fabrics and some backs are from the 14 lb. box of novelties from a blogging friend.  I made half the blocks with white/plain backs and half in novelties/scrappy, and laid it out with alternate blocks.

The only "order" is that white strip and blue handkerchief print laid diagonally down the near center.  My plan is to have 6 x 8 blocks.  (It's turned sideways here).  Top row has the sashing connected.  Attaching the narrow sashing is faster than it looks and so far, all the back stitches are exactly where I wanted them, not sloppily on and off the sashing but  next to it.   Yeahhh!  I did one row of 8 blocks at one sitting of ?? less than an hour.  Fabrics are little horses, horseshoes, deer, a few foxes, dot, plaids, and I added a few turquoises to keep it from getting blah. These blocks are 7.25 in.  My leftover batting scrap supply is greatly diminished.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Kind friends, generous gifts

A blogging friend said she had too many fabrics and asked me if I would help her use them up.  Say what?  Oh yes, I agreed to give them a new home, and I promised to make them up into donated kids quilts and if there were too many pieces, would ask my quilty girlfriends to assist.  I figured I could handle about 7 lbs, the first estimate.  It's so much fun to wait for the mail, look at the box, and not open it right away, but what arrived on a Saturday was not 7 lbs., but a bigger box of 14 lbs.!  Yikes, hold me back, I cannot open it yet, I MUST clear a space, MUST finish this project, etc., and promised the sender I'd have a "reveal" with my friends.  So I just looked at the bulging box, being tempted, but I was strong and resisted.

So - here they are on Thursday evening where we gather for Show and Tell, local news, etc.  This was a small group.  And HERE is the box of goodies!  Are we having fun?  When the evening was over I only brought home half of the fabrics - oh good, these photo'ed gals are all great achievers and those little quilts will be made up and delivered.  Thank you Joan for the fabric - you can see they are all appreciated.  I'm working on my ideas as well - some are getting made into backs of QAYG quilt.  Thank you Alice, Carol, Sue and Jody!
Saturday morning, 9:00 am, one of these gals brought over a finished top, made from some of her pieces - now that's FAST!

Here are several quilts that were shown for the evening Show and Tell.
 Above, a scrappy quilt
 4 Patches and Pinwheels, from Bonnie Hunter's book.  I LOVE this one.
This is an OLD quilt, simple but the fabrics are much prettier than my photo.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Basket Weave, simple backing

This strip of 4 patches fell off the back of the studio door and "accidentally" became the perfect addition to a Basket Weave backing that was just a teensy bit too short.  I was careful to sew it off  center, just for fun.  Nope, it doesn't match, doesn't have same colors, just seemed to be a nice contrast to all the circular motifs in the blue/white fabric.  

This tree was my Birthday Tree, 10 years ago, and barefly fits the camera lens.  No, it's not my birthday, just wanted to get the quilt backing in the photo.  This is a small leaf Linden - it now provides shade for the house and maintains this pretty shape.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

#6 and the LAST from that box of scraps

Basket Weave or Basket Strings - thank you Bonnie Hunter of  This is the LAST quilt, #6, from that wonderful box of scraps given to me by my LQS about 9 months ago.  By this time, I had to add a LOT of my own scrappy stash.  

 I like how it turned out.  The light side setting triangles are not quilted - not sure if I'll leave them unquilted or not.  
 It's amazing that the varieties a curvy line can suggest - almost like personalities.  I MQ'd  each block separately, many of them with different kinds of wavy lines.  
This innies and outies is a favorite - looks interesting, almost most masculine, or outdoorsy.  (Next post ... I'll post the back! )

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

QAYG, Scrap bags

10 days of fun - yep, fabrics arrived on July 27, and today is August 7.  Fun and done!

Front, back, and close up of back squares.  I'll wash it to soften  the sashing strips.  Many of these fabrics came from 2 kids scrap bags ordered from Hawthorne Supply. 
Some of the backing squares were an existing stack of squares, used in random order.  But, holy smoke, they are soooo cute!  I LOVE the variety of sweet little girls.  Wish I had the yardage.

If you wanted more order to the back,  you could lay them all out in the required order on your design wall, or in some "safe" floor where human or pet fabric won't dislodge them, then start sewing the fronts and pick up the specific backing square in a more disciplined manner - oh my gosh, just trying to write that kind of plan is giving me the heebie jeebies!  I'm a random kind of gal, but I realize there are many gals who like to know, ahead of time, what the back will look like, so if that is your style, go for it!  8-))
I made an error in explaining sizes of blocks.  The blocks finish the same as raw/unfinished size because you sew with 1/4 in. seam allowance, but then you ADD another 1/4 inch with the narrow sashing.  So this quilt is 6 x 8, or 42" x 48"  I hemmed and hawed about adding a border, but in the end, it didn't seem to need it.  On YouTube, The Gourmet Quilter does a good job of explaining her method of putting blocks together and a second video on adding borders.  I always check out a number of videos as each one has something to learn.

Can't wait to start another one!

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Critter Comforts #3, QAYG

A fast layout - looks almost OK ...better move that turquoise on far left to upper left.  All Day Sew is tomorrow and I plan to sew white sashing strips between the blocks.  I'm not sure about a border yet ... still waiting for the quilt to talk.  Each block is  6 1/2 in. finished.  Most of these strips are from the recent package of scraps I purchased from Hawthorne.  The backing squares are  also a variety of kids prints, chosen in no particular order. 

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Having fun with strips, strings, and QAYG

So far, so good!  Many of my recent purchase (scrap bag, previous post) contain pieces large enough for backings so I'll not cut them into strips.  I'm liking the one bright on the diagonal  near the center of each block, and also have a white strip 1 1/2 in. on each diagonal center for continuity.

Here are 4 x 4 blocks, I planned to have 6 x 7 but ... not sure yet.  Each individual block finishes at 6.5 in. 

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Kids Scrap Bags

For the second time, I've placed an order for 3 kids scrap bags from Hawthorne Supply, in Red Hook, NY.  My order came today, promptly, and I'm thrilled with the choices.   They are very different from our fabrics in Nebraska.   I plan to make more QAYG kids quilts similar to my previous "Critter Comforts."  There is not even one fabric in the bag that is not going to be perfect. 

 There are horses, foxes, racoons, people, dancers, folky, stars, insects and more! 

Monday, July 22, 2019

A month of photos - Hanging at the Bank

3 quilt events, 3 out-of-towners in June/July - not much sewing but a LOT of enjoying people and quilts.  Many of these quilts were at our recent Guild Quilt Show, and then we move them right onto  the Bank 2nd floor railing for the town Heritage Days. 

ON the right is our Guild raffle quilt, won by a local gal. Far left is Liz's, then the one in the middle is totally scrappy, made by Pokey, who used to live and blog in California, but amazingly, moved to our little town!  What a coincidence! I used to write her in California, never having a clue she had family in our little town.

 This is mine, shown before.  60 degree diamonds, and practice with rulers for straight-line quilting. 
 Carol's soft pallette - so pretty.
 Impressive blending of colors, going from light to blues, tans, golds, grays, lights blues,  The color  changes were almost imperceptible.  .
 These ladies had lacy pantaloons under their hoop skirts - so cute!  The viewer just HAD to touch.
 ...from that box of scraps from my LQS - my quilt.  I had just learned (again) how to calculate the floating border correctly.

Alice's beautiful paper paper piecing.  It's easier to see the layout in this photo than up close.

Uh, oh, below - was this Jody's? 
Gene's first-ever stunning quilt won him a Blue Ribbon at the recent Quilt Show.  Gene hosts our monthly All Day Sew and he LOVES his embroidery machine! 
 Jody's clever "sticks".
 Earlynne's stunning antique/vintage hexagon, from her Great grandmother,  that she made following the death of her 2 children, 5 days apart, in 1918 (flu that was rampant).  She said she had to do something to keep herself from falling apart.  Those hexagons are about 1/2 inch, and all hand done.  Never washed. 
 One of Jody's (Goddess)  many quilts, from
One of Elaine's (ME!) quilts, one of 6, made from that never-ending box of scraps.  In Bonnie's latest book, she called hers "Daybreak" - I call this one "Slim Pickin's" due to searching the  last bits from the box of scraps.  The last border is hand-quilted.  That's what the quilt asked for. 

Hand quilted by me.  "49 Opportunities" meaning every single block looked good enough to plan an entire quilt from each scrappy color combination. 

 This travel bag was beautifully made by Anne, made from her father's sail boat sails.  It is even more amazing in person! 
 Carol's sweet kid quilt - a lot of Dick and Jane type figures, not enough to make an entire quilt, but finished with simple squares, using same colors as focus fabric - much better in person.  Great idea if you don't have a lot of something. 

These purple bags are Royal Crown labels.  Had to be saved over a long time.  The end result is lovely.  Don't remember owner.  8-( 
OK, end of show - hope you enjoyed.

Monday, June 17, 2019

5th Quilt from Box of Scraps

DONE!  Yes, I'm still finishing that "box of scraps".  Our Guild is preparing for our Quilt Show and suddenly we needed a few more quilts.  This was close to completed, so I got off my you-know-what and finished it in several hours.  (Why do we wait so long?)  

It's not large, and looks a lot like a previous quilt.  This one is about 53" x 63".  I deliberately chose that busy backing.    

This project taught me about using a formula for cutting variable width floating borders.  Thank you Gyleen Fitzgerald!

I also learned (second effort) about making a faux flange.  My strips were 1 5/8 and 1 3/8 in., narrower than most of the instructions and next time I'll reduce them more, to 1 1/2 in. and 1 1/4 inches.  The binding is sewn to the back, then machine stitched to the front.  

If this is new to you, hints.  Be very neat and precise.  Quilt the top all the way to the edge, then trim exactly.  Be exact with those binding strips and don't stretch them when pressing.  When sewing down the binding,  I wanted to use my regular quarter inch foot as it's more precise than my walking foot - that is why I quilted to the edge and chose very narrow strips.  The last seam is on the front, with Smoke, invisible thread, very slowly and carefully.  Those stitches on front are extremely difficult to see.  Yeahhhhh!  

The busy backing was intentional because despite precision efforts, stitches were going to show where I didn't want them.  It's OK and it's DONE!

I have 4 quilts in the show, with no expectations for ribbons but ya always hope, don't ya?  Putting quilts in the Quilt Show takes effort, doesn't it?  Our show is local, with ribbons awarded by visitor ballots. 

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

The X Block

I've had this ruler for years, but never actually USED it.  After seeing several tutorials on YouTube, I decided to give it a try.  It's on the right, with the packaging and it says 6 1/2".  That's just one of several sizes available.  (Packaging may be different now due to new owners.)

First I had to FIND the ruler in my "collection" -- miraculously, the  Instruction/Pattern book was with the ruler.  This book has wonderful ideas, options, and patterns for various sized rulers - I'm glad I have it.  I chose a simple baby quilt.  I had 1 yd. pieces of 3 fabrics and they are stripped together (NOT 2 1/2" strips).  Here is my finished project, about 44" x 60"  My "cutsie is the bright blue with frogs  (the star), so I learned that the middle of the strip set should have been the "cutsie" as my cute frogs are all chopped up.  My strip set, from Left to right was 1)light with little green things, 2)plain light blue, and 3)bright blue frog pattern.  Each block is the same.   There is a good amount of waste but it's reused in a border.

From start to finish,  2 sewing days.  This was the easiest design but some of the design suggestions are  downright stunning!  The ruler is used either right side up or flipped over for an entirely different project. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

NQR - Traveling to Theodore Roosevelt National Park (TRNP)

DH and I spent a few days traveling NORTH in mid-May, to Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  Our timing was good, no tourists, no traffic, but it was drizzly the entire time.  We were not hiking, just mainly doing a driving tour .  One item on my bucket list was to see "wild horses" and yes, we saw them. This park has two units, North and South with 60 miles between.  The landscape and geology are amazing.  Many bison were everywhere,  We saw several herds of horses in the South Unit.  We stayed in Medora, at the entrance to the South Unit.  This attractive town is very small, and they were preparing for influx of tourists.  There is an amazing Rough Riders Hotel, looking First Class, where you might "dress for dinner."  We chose the Badland Motel, and could not have asked for anything more - clean, modern, and looking quite new.  I think we were one of two guests in a place prepared for several hundred during summer season.

We chose this location because it was remote and rugged with a history of fewer visitors than other National Parks.  There were numerous, almost empty camping areas.   I had packed most of our food, but we had one good meal at the Little Missouri Saloon and Dining Room, where we left our signed dollar bill tacked to the wall with thousands of other bills with names and dates.

The drive to our destination took us thru northwestern Nebraska, all of South Dakota, and much of North Dakota.  We experienced NO traffic except for a wrong turn in Rapid City.  We saw huge expanses of Grasslands, oil wells, and herds of Black Angus.  One silly highlight was when passing  and slowing down to a crawl on the major highway thru a tiny town, was a police car with a "dummy" officer sitting in the front seat.

Those huge round balls are rocks, called "cannonball concretions'.  They are found in abundance in this particular ridge. 
 I LOVE seeing the geology.  Amazing views were everywhere.

 I could almost touch this big guy - didn't want to try.

The wild horses are NOT running thru the grasslands, usually NOT fighting, no music in the background, but mostly interested in quiet grazing.  One stallion was definitely managing his herd, keeping order with various horse signals.  We didn't bother them, but kept our distance.