Saturday, January 25, 2014

Scrappy Saturday

Yay!  I'm actually getting this post done for Saturday this week!

This week, for my participation in So Scrappy's Rainbow Scrap Challenge, I have two finished tops.  Check out what everyone else has done this week.

My guild had a request from a local hospital for quilts for the neo-natal unit.  In other words, baby quilts.  Who doesn't love baby quilts?  They're small and take a small amount of fabric and time, and usually are pretty cute. The request was for quilts from 18 inch by 24 inch up to crib size, for both newborns and for those poor little souls that don't live.

Since I had my blue scraps out, I went with the scraps!  Everyone seems to make "girl" quilts, so I decided to make "boy" quilts.  I made scrappy 9 Patches in blue plaids.

Here is the first top I made.  This is sized at 26 inches by 35 inches at the moment.  The 6-inch 9 Patches are all made with scraps, and the alternate dotted fabric was given to me to use for charity quilts.  I thought the little dots made the 9 Patches look not-so austere.  I'm still debating adding an outer border to this.  I don't know if it needs it or if a dark binding will suffice.  I'm going to put cute blue flannel on the back, and will probably quilt this myself.  I'm not sure this is "baby-ish" enough, but I figured it's a classic design that even non-quilters should recognize. 

Here is the second top I made, using the rest of the 9 Patch blocks.  I used some "baby" fabric the guild gave me for the alternate squares.  This one is at 18 inches by 24 inches right now.  This top will also get cute blue flannel on the back and I'll quilt this one too.

So, even though this is all I've gotten done for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this week, I feel good that I got these little tops sewn up.  Hopefully I can get a little more scrappy sewing done next week, to use up even more blue scraps!  I know I can't even begin to use up all my blue scraps, but I'd like to use up more than I have yet.

Thought for the day:
Don't be afraid to try something new!  Remember: the Ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic was built by professionals.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

First Flimsy Finish of the Year

I finally finished to flimsy stage the Disappearing Nine Patch blocks that I showed you at the end of my last post.  They have been lurking in the quilt studio for years.  Yay!  So nice to have a finish.

44 inches square

At the end of my last post, I showed you these blocks in their unfinished state.  While I was trying to decide what to do with them, I got a quilt back from my quilter Shari.  When I trimmed off all the leftover backing edges in preparation for putting on that quilt's binding, I realized that the bits I cut off the back would be the right amount and color to be the sashing for these D9P blocks!  I love when that happy serendipity happens!

After I finished that top, I had some blocks left over.  The Thinking Cap went back on!  I realized that I still had enough blocks left to do another quilt if I played it right.

40 inches square

And here's what I came up with.  I tried quite a few fabrics trying to find the right fabric to work well with the blocks, and I'm really happy with this warm and cozy-looking plaid.  So now this one can go in the "finished flimsy" stack as well.  Of the two tops, I think this one is my favorite.  But then, I am partial to plaid.  *grin*

I'm so glad that I finally used up those Disappearing Nine Patch blocks after all these years, and I'm glad that I managed to make a couple of decent charity quilts with them as well!  These will both be lap quilts for some seniors in a local assisted living facility.   

I really enjoyed using my new design wall.  It's still set up in the living room, at the moment,  but not for long.  My moving the quilt studio into the living room didn't seem to be too popular with the rest of the family, so I will be moving back to the usual location now.  Although I did get more "help" than I usually do, Shade wasn't too happy that he couldn't be right next to me while I was sewing, which is his usual spot in the quilt studio.  And I got tired of having to go up or down the stairs, looking for the tool that wasn't with me when I needed it.  *heavy sigh*  The trick will be to get the studio cleaned up enough to actually get the design wall into there.  But having the design wall in the living room has gotten me to get more sewing done, knowing that I had a limited time in that location.  I wanted to finish what I was working on before trying to move the design wall, which actually worked out pretty well in the Motivation Department.  hee hee!  

I've been sewing even more projects, but I'll save the rest to show you later.  

Have a creative week!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Scrappy Sunday

This post was supposed to be Scrappy Saturday, but I forgot yesterday!  Better late than never, right?

I've decided I want to try the Rainbow Scrap Challenge that SoScrappy is hosting.  I don't know how long I can manage to actually do this, but I figured it's time to start doing something with all the scraps that are accumulating around here!  Even if I'm not 100% successful with playing along, I hope to at least be able to make a dent in the scrap pile.

This month's color is blue, and boy,do I have a LOT of blue scraps!  I tried to narrow down my choices of what exactly I want to do with scraps this year.  So far, my list is about 5 quilts long!  So I started with 2 different blocks.

Here are my first 2 Tic Tac Toe blocks.  These were a Block Lotto block back in January 2010 (see the directions here), and I really liked the quilts that the winners made with these blocks.  So, time to do some for me.  I'm trying to use tone-on-tone fabrics.  The one on the right that looks black is actually a blue and black marble.  I'm not sure this block is going to work for this quilt, but it was my first attempt.  I like the block on the left better.  But, I'm trying to turn off the critic in my head and just sew.

I'm also trying some "made fabric" a la Bumble Beans.  I have no idea what I will use these for, but they at least use up some of the smallest scraps.  They are great "therapy" sewing too.

You can see what others are doing for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge by clicking here.

I've decided that this year is the year to start putting together some of the projects I have started that are this close to being a quilt top.  You know, the blocks are all done and are waiting for me to do something with them.  I'm tired of having all these almost-done projects nagging me.  They get pretty insistent sometimes.

Santa (my DH The Potter) gave me a free-standing design wall for Christmas and I love it!  We put it up in the mostly-unused living room, and I had to christen it right away by putting some blocks on it, of course.  *grin*

These are some 16 Patch blocks that I started way back here in 2011.  Wow, didn't realize it had been that long!  I've made some here and there along the way.  I'm trying to use only the bright plaids, but some read a little darker.  I think that will be OK.  I have 34 blocks in this photo.  I've made another 3 since the photo was taken.  Now I have just 11 more to make and then I can start finalizing a layout.  I have all the plaids cut - I just need to cut some more black fabric.  

These were the result of a demonstration that I did at our quilt show in 2011.  I use a method that is sooo easy and fun to make these blocks.  I'm thinking of doing a tutorial for this method.  Any one interested?  I've never seen this method anywhere else on line, so I thought you might like to know it too!

After getting those blocks sorted out, I decided to pull out a project that I haven't touched in years.  The blocks are ready to put together.

first half of the blocks

I made these Disappearing Nine Patch blocks from some random charm squares that I had hanging around for years.  Well, when I put these on the design wall, they just screamed "Yuck!" at me.  Dull, boring and UGLY.  Oh my.  What to do?  So, I put on my thinking cap and came up with this:

second half of the blocks

Better, definitely better.  Now to find something for the sashing.  I was planning on this being a charity quilt.  But it's too big to have them all together, and a little small to make two lap quilts.  

all the blocks

So, I haven't decided yet just what I'm doing.  First I'm sewing all the block quarters together, and then I'll see what size it is, play some more and see what I can come up with.  I'll keep you posted.

Friday, January 03, 2014


My first REAL blog post of 2014!  I hope I can keep up more frequently this year.  My poor blog was so neglected last year.

We got through the holidays just fine this year.  No one got sick, which is a nice change from last year when DH and I both had a nasty virus.  DH was on a business trip to China for most of the month of December, so guess who did most of the shopping?  (I LOVE shopping on-line!  It's way too easy.)  He arrived home one week before Christmas, and managed to be mostly awake for all the festivities.  Jet lag is so terrible, but fortunately it didn't bother him too badly until Christmas was over.

I didn't get much sewing done, but did manage to get 8 pillowcases made for presents!

These are the ones for K. (who is A.'s mom), my dear DIL A. and DS #1.  

Here is a close-up of DIL A.'s pillowcase.  I found this fabric with names of places in Paris and knew it would be perfect.  A. has been to Paris 4 or 5 times (they were stationed in Germany) and Paris is her favorite city in the world.  

Pillowcases for the granddaughters.  The older one is really into ballet (3rd year of classes), and the younger one loves kitties and puppies.  She got kitties last year, so this year it had to be puppies.  *grin*

I somehow managed to NOT get a photo of the pillowcase I made for DS #2.  Bad Mom/blogger.

And these are the pillowcases for my DH, The Potter, and myself.  I'll bet you can guess whose is whose!

I also made some Winnie The Pooh potholders for my DIL's birthday, which she LOVED!  It used up the very last of my Pooh Bear fabric.  And I managed to NOT get photos of those either.  But at least I got them done in time!  Now I need to make some for myself (not Pooh Bear though).  I somehow managed to lose my selvage potholders, and am missing them.  Since I have an abundance of selvages, it shouldn't be too hard to do.  

I also managed to make some blocks for the Block Lotto.

These are the December blocks, called "Stripes".   It was surprisingly difficult to be 100% accurate on these.  Maybe I was distracted??

blocks finish at 7 inches by 14 inches

And these are the Chevron blocks for January.  Sophie had a fun, new-to-me technique to make the HST's for these.  You just cut one big square (9 inches in this case) from the background and the featured fabric for each chevron, and based on how you sew and cut that square, you get 8 HST's.  You can see her directions here.  Because you're cutting slightly larger than you need, you then trim to an accurate size (4 inches in this case, 3 1/2 inches finished size) and they're so accurate that everything goes together just slick as a wink.  Easy-peasy!  I love when I find a new technique that is easy and accurate!

I haven't had a lot of time to sew the last couple of weeks, and am trying to decide what I want to work on first.  Finish a quilt that is in-progress, work on a charity quilt or start a new quilt??  Of course, I could clean the quilt studio first, but that's not as much fun.  *wink*  

Have a creative weekend! 

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all my readers, friends and family!  I wish everyone a healthy, fun, creative 2014, filled with all the fabric and quilty goodness you desire!

More later.....