Sunday, April 7, 2013

New Scrap Projects

How much goes on in 2-1/2-years between posts!  Time truly slips away when you don't keep a visual record of the happenings. 

In September of 2011 our quilt group began making placemats to be sent out with our local Meals on Wheels program.  With 450 meals bring delivered on a daily basis, we'll never run out of recipients for nice home-quilted placemats.  The first year we delivered over 200 mats. I have a huge pile that are pieced and ready for the finishing stitching. and a larger pile of wonderful fabrics and orphan blocks waiting for creative joining. 

These are a small sample of the mats I have made.  It has been enjoyable to combine prints with design and have something completed and useful in a short time.

Most recently I have been working with the Mock Log Cabin design.  Our quilt group celebrates National Quilt Day with a day-long community service sew-in.  I selected this design to work with as it can be made with scraps.  We cut squares and triangle units in advance, and sewed and squared the triangles so we could stitch blocks at our Celebration.  The divided 9-patch square can be set in all the log-cabin variations.  This quilt top is one I made  using reds for the center squares of each block.  With a few hundred squares not yet sewn we will be making lots of these quilts!
I have many sewn triangle units and have been looking at a variety of quilt designs that use triangles like ocean waves and baskets.  Will these triangles be cookies or milk?  And what about leftover square?  Scraps are endless! 

Monday, September 13, 2010

I Am Still Using Scraps

It has been a long time since I have made a posting, but I truly have been working on my scraps.

I had a dear quilting friend pass away almost two years ago, and I have received a great deal of her fabrics from her family. I have decided that I am a "topper" and need to work harder at the finishing part of the process. I love the creating of the multi-fabric designs. However, starting near the first of the year I have been working on sixty-degree designs, lots of string variations, and little else.

I started working with a Moda American Jane pattern called "Pretzel." I was intrigued with the design and was very interested in it. I had hoped for an easy strip-piecing type of assembly. No, traditional y-seam assembly was required. I instantly re-sized the design as the 2-1/2-inch strips seemed large for the variation I was working on, so I cut from 2-1/4-inch strips. Then I had to change the hexagon size. I hand-pieced the first variation, then decided to hand-quilt it, too. With my deterioration of vision and agility through the past few years, the black on black quilting may not have been the best idea. From across the room it doesn't look too bad, and the stitching doesn't show much, so after adding a binding it will be ready for the wall.

I received a box of 2-inch strips from the family of my friend, and after cutting two 6-point star variations from them I had enough red and black strips for two quilts in the Pretzel design. I made one variation that I appliqued to a background, and a second set have been appliqued to blocks.

This small lap quilt is ready to be basted for the quilting.

With another pile of the two-inch strips I cut hundreds of diamonds. I am working on two tumbling block variations, one with 9-patch blocks and one with 25-patch blocks. I have the 175 required 9-patches pieced, ready to be pieced into blocks.

I took a large pile of the scraps that I had been given and cut 2-1/2-inch diamonds, and my quilt group started piecing a tumbling blocks variation. This top is the one that is ready for quilting:

I am working on 19 other quilts with the leftovers--more cookie and milk quilts. Twelve tops will be baby quilts with a stack of the blocks in the center. The other seven are variations, each one different. Am I out of diamonds? Hardly!

I cut leftovers into strips for string variations. Longer strips are used for diagonal piecing, and short strips I stitch into spiderweb designs. These tops are ready to be basted for quilting:

It is impossible to be out of strips. There are many more string quilts coming.

Our quilt group has decided to use the Bonnie Hunter Pineapple Blossom for our retreat design for this year. Time to get out the ones I have in progress and cut the new ones I want to do. And from the leftovers from those quilts....

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Finish Again

Dishrag Soup -- My Version

For the 2005 fall retreat of New Friends Quilt Circle the commercial design called Dishrag Soup was selected for the group project. Necia Doty had previously completed two colorway variations of the design which were very appealing to the group. Although patterns were ordered from the California designer for the retreat participants, New Friends were preparing for our annual quilt fair in the following month of March and had just completed an exchange of fabrics for nine-patch units. Since the size of these unts was already determined, I decided that I would use what I had and designed the rest of the quilt to fit them.

I selected fabrics that "read" as red for the churn dash part of the design, and fabrics that read as blue for the quarter-square triangle units. I selected nine-patch unts that had light corners for the centers. A single background fabric was used. Most of the print fabrics were sample fabrics purchased or donated to me. Everything, including the back, were stash fabrics. I turned the backing fabric inside out as it was a white on navy print with too-high contrast for my taste.

My 12-block set made a nice large lap-size quilt with 4-ounce polyester batting being used as the filler. The quilting was done with mono-filament nylon thread on my Juki machine and red solid fabric was used for the binding.
The quilt was on exhibit at our 2009 Steel Days quilt show, and following the show was ready for donation in our quilt group ongoing community service.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Progress on Old Project

In December I got out a very old project, started years ago while teaching at a quilt shop and rescuing fabric scraps from the waste basket for scrap quilts. This Joseph's Coat began with the templates from an Oxmoor House series publication which included the plastic templates with the instructions. I used these scraps for the ovals, and began on the journey to hand-piece a quilt top. When I got my pieces out I found I had about 3 circles pieced together, and a pile of cut out shapes.

I cut many more pieces in December and January, and then began to make units of 3 ovals with a center, mixing all of the old pieces I had cut in with the new ones so they could be scattered throughout the quilt top. It's interesting how fabric styles and colors change and how ones collection of scrap fabric differs through the years.

This week I was finally able to finish one row of the quilt (of seven) and got it pressed. Through the years I have learned much more about seam allowance and how to get my points more sharp. I was amazed that the row lies quite flat (so far) and that I just might be able to make a success of this quilt.
I have it flat so far, and for the most part the colors are working together. I have more work to do in getting sharp points, and I will gain plenty of practice as the quilt progresses. I'm very slow at the stitching, but only one can be taken at a time, so stitch by stitch, I'll continue on.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Pats Day

I called my family in NH tonight to check on healing from surgery on my Son. My little Sofia told me that I had forgotten to mail them something. I asked what, and she replied I had forgotten their pillowcases. Mom. Joanna, said that nothing had been said to her. I'm glad that the children are looking forward to my pillowcase gifts, and that is the good news. My injury prevented me from stitching out the designs I had created, and that is the bad news. However, there will be a St. Pat's day next year, and that, too, is good news! Meanwhle, another holiday is coming, and I purchased the "perfect" fabric for new sets of pillowcases. They'll be welcome when mailed to NH a coming spring day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

March-ing Along

My granny square odyssey is continuing, and I completed my 6th afghan last week. With a huge plastic storage tote full of completed squares, I have plenty to keep my busy as I stitch afghans together. I have purchased all the black yarn in one JoAnn Fabrics and two WalMart stores now, and it's almost time to make the rounds again.

Winter is slowly changing to spring, but we can never tell what season it is. Just as I have been getting anxious to start digging in the dirt again I had a fall (not that unusual), but pain has kept me confined. I've been happy to have those squares near by to work on.

A quilt celebration project has been my main focus for the last few months, and I have five new quilt tops ready to be basted and quilted. I designed a sampler with large scale blocks to feature novelty prints. A day-long public invited sew-in was successful and pictures can be seen at

The fabrics shown in the corner will soon be used to create similar quilts. The baby to lap-size quilts are all to be donated along with others made by our quilt group.

A quilt group associate commented that she likes my idea of "cookies and milk" and is starting to cut multiples of blocks while she has the fabrics out. She has decided that two blocks made alike at the same time makes for more quilts much more quickly. She's adopting my "use it up" theory, and in the pictures (link above) she has a stack of her quilts made with sampler blocks to show the results of her work.

I look forward to warmer weather and the ability to sit at the machine again. There are quilts waiting for me!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Is Winter Almost Over?

This time of year is hard with re-occurring winter depression and nasty weather that keeps me confined, neither condition that I have any control of. Daylight lights and plenty of projects to work on keep me marginally functional during the winter months.

My piles of pieced blocks are growing, and I have quilted 4 quilts with two more in process. A couple of days binding and I will have something to photograph.

I pulled out a box of granny squares I had set aside some time ago, and found that I had several variations in progress. A friend had volunteered at a thrift shop several years ago, and when incompleted crochet projects came in she would purchase them and bring them to me. Needing some hand-work to keep my hands busy in spite of my mood disorder, I started to count, and arrange.

I hate, I mean HATE to weave in ends, and most of these squares had starting and ending yarns not worked in. That was depressing on its own! However, I spent two days and got all those ends woven in with a needle, and clipped neatly. I made 4-patches of the small blocks and bordered them. I accidently turned the top twice as I was doing the assembly, but the accidental placement looks better than how I had planned it. This oversize afghan would have been made smaller, but when I tried to take some rows out my stitching (in the black) was so good I couldn't see it well enough to take it out, so there it stays. This cuddle-couch cover-afthan is ready for donation.

I finished one slightly smaller afghan, not yet photographed, and am in process of the 3rd, with squares ready for assembly for the 4th.

My grandchildren received their Valentine pillowcases in time to use them before the holiday.
Embroidery on both sides of the pillowcase cuff challenged me for a couple of days. I'm still struggling with placement and correct stabilization and tension, but I guess little kids don't notice that so much. Another season is in the planning as spring should be here before too long!
Although these projects are not scrap "quilts" they are start of the C&M theme--there is more yarn and squares to be used, and there are scraps of the bright print fabric waiting to be used!