Sunday, August 14, 2016


This is going to be kind of a "catch-up" post this time because I have a lot to share with you.  This is going to be a long, photo-heavy post.

First up is a scrap project I've been working on.  I have a drawer in my cutting table that I've been putting 2 1/2 inch squares in as I'm cutting fabrics.  After quite a few years, it was getting pretty full.  I've been working on sewing them into "two-sies" for a while now.  I've kept changing my mind as to what quilt pattern they would become....there are so many possibilities!  4-Patches, 9-Patches or what??  I played with lots of ideas.  Then one day, my shoe box that I keep the "two-sies" in got too full to close and it was time for a decision.

Meanwhile I had seen this link from Ebay on Facebook:

This old beauty was intriguing to me.  I finally figured out what this block design is.  The big clue was that the blocks are set on point.  So, after a little while with a pencil and some graph paper, I had it figured out.

This is the block:

This is really just a rough sketch.  Imagine background rectangles in place.  The block will finish at 8 inches square.  That's gonna be a lot of 2 1/2 inch squares!  The inspiration quilt uses half square triangles, but since I already had plain squares sewn together, I thought I'd just keep it simple and use those.  I think there are a few HST's in there as well, just because they were in the drawer.  I'm using scrappy white-on-whites for the backgrounds.

I started out doing the "kitchen sink" approach and using any of my older fabrics in my squares, but when push came to shove, I had to edit out the old ugly fabrics that I just couldn't stand any more. Some of those squares actually went into the trash!  I figured "Why make a quilt with fabric that I don't love, when there is so much that I do love?" Right?  That still leaves me with a lot of 2 1/2 inch squares!  And I can always cut some more if I need to.

So this is now my latest long-term project.  I have a number of blocks sewn, as you can see in the top photo, but lots more to go.  And no rush on this, I'm just using up my scraps.  Really, only some of my scraps!  And now it's time to start cutting more 2 1/2 inch squares to replenish my stock of them.

I've also sewn some preemie quilt tops.  I still need to get them quilted up.

This was just left-over bits and pieces that I inherited from a friend 9 years ago.  Finally getting it together!

Remember back in April when I posted about playing with the Rail Fence block from Sujata's book? You can see my post here.  (scroll down a ways)  I determined that, to use the fabrics I wanted, I need to make a 14" block.  Well, this was my sample block to see if my math for the conversion was correct.  And, it's a miracle - the block came out the perfect 14 inch size!  Each Rail Fence unit in the block is a 3 1/2 inch square.  See, amazing math skillz!  I used an older true Madras plaid and a solid for this one.  This block didn't need much more to be the right size for a preemie quilt, just a couple of borders.  (The target size for a preemie quilt is 18" x 24").

I had more fabric left over, so I made one more to use it up.  This is a little different, but I hope someone enjoys it.  Now, on to the quilting.

The Tacoma Modern Quilt Guild was having a summer event to show off some of our quilts and sell some small items, so I made some potholders.  I was thrifty and recycled some bits and blocks as well as using some fun fabric.

Each of these is a one-of-a kind potholder.  Two are string blocks from the string bin.

Also one-of-a-kinds.  Leftover 8 inch squares from The Parts Department.

These two were someone's leftover strip sets that  I rescued from the quilt shop.  They're a set of two and are two sided with the same fabrics.

Another two pairs of rescued strip sets potholders and the top two potholders are also pairs (one blue pair, one red pair) of some cheater selvage fabric. 

The top left is a pair of potholders of left-over charm squares that I "inherited", while the top right pair uses some left-over 9-patches, also "inherited".  The bottom two are two pairs of a different cheater selvage fabric. 

All of the potholders!

Now I need to make more potholders for the other guild's upcoming quilt show, to sell at the Country Store we have at the show.  It's a good thing potholders are fun and fast!

I also did some "secret" sewing, for next year's Challenge quilt.  The challenge is ""Get Creative with Black"!  You'll have to wait until next July to see the results of that.

Now I have 3 quilts back from Shari, my long-armer, to get bindings on for the quilt show!  They need to be turned in mid-September for the show at the end of that month.  I was a slacker this year and only finished these 3 quilts.  My reveal of these quilts will be when the bindings are on, so stay tuned!

For my sewing this month I have to do those three bindings, make potholders and maybe some bags, make a baby quilt and work on my Liberated Medallion QAL quilt tops.  I hope I can do it all!  If the weather stays a reasonable temp, I can stand to be in the quilt studio.  It's cooled off today from the last 2 days, so that's where I'm headed now.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Gwennie Medallion QAL Part 3 - Update

Remember that my log cabin border wasn't done on Basket #1 in my last post?  Well, I couldn't let that just sit there mocking me.  Something had to be done.

This is where I was on Monday.  The more I looked at the Courthouse Steps partial border, the less I liked it.  I decided that it might be best to just keep things simple.

Ta da!  I finally have the log cabin border done!  It is a simple log cabin-style border, with two light sides and two darker sides.  I think it gives the quilt some "breathing room" and kind of calms those crazy 9- patches, instead of getting too busy.  And now this will work better with the Star border that is our challenge for August.  I'm happy with this now.  And I already have some ideas of where I want to go next!

This weekend is my DH's big art show out in the garden.  He's been working like a slave to get everything ready, and tomorrow is set up.  Hopefully we'll have good weather, not too hot and not rainy.  We seem to be one or the other every year.  The weather report looks good for not too hot, but we may have some showers.  And I hope we get lots of customers!  Cross your fingers for us!

Have a great weekend.  I hope you have some time to be creative!

Monday, August 01, 2016

Gwennie-Inspired Medallion QAL - Part 3

Our challenge for the Gwen Marston-Inspired Medallion Quilt Along this month was Log Cabin borders.

Basket #2
19" wide x 22" high
The photo will supersize if clicked on.

Sorry this photo is so crookedy.  The quilt top really is straight and flat.  I just can't seem to take a straight picture these days.  (It may be all the "quilt stuff" on the floor in front of the design wall.  Shhhh....)

I was excited about this theme, as I love log cabins.  But sadly, I spent most of the month flailing about in the quilt studio.  Nothing seemed to "gel" for me.  I tried so many different things, and I have a pile of rejected 'orphan' blocks.  I know that the flailing is part of the design process and try to be patient with myself, but I do get frustrated at not making much progress.

And then, finally, it started clicking!  Yay!  I added the white border as a resting place for the eye, and a little breathing room. I also added a different color/fabric square in each corner of that border, just for a bit of whimsy.  Once I'd decided on the black polka dots for the centers of the cabins, then all those crazy colors and fabrics started playing well together.  I actually had a lot of fun just sitting and sewing all the log cabins.  And I thought it was time to repeat some of that wonderful vintage fabric that's in the basket in the corner squares.  I don't have very much of that fabric left at this point, so I'm not sure if or how it'll show up again.

These log cabins are very liberated!  It was a challenge to get the borders to fit.  I ended up adding coping strips in the bottom border, as I didn't have quite enough room for another log cabin.  Very Gwennie, right?  And, to add to the Liberation going on in this quilt, none of the borders ended up the same width!  

This quilt top is very, very bright.  I'm hoping that a good dose of the blacks and whites will calm it down to a reasonable level as it's almost too bright, which is not something you'll find me saying often.  *grin*   We're normally pretty overcast and grey here in the Pacific Northwest, even when it's not raining.  But now it's summer and the sun actually comes out once in a while.  Then those bright colors I love really show up.  Whoa, it's even brighter than I thought!  I may need sunglasses!  I just hope it's not too bright.

On the other hand.....

Basket #1
still unfinished
Click to super-size this photo too!

This quilt top is still not done, but I thought I'd show what I have so far.  I think I've decided on these Courthouse Steps log cabins.  I'll be adding these as only the top and bottom borders.  It's getting to be pretty wide and so I want to make it more vertical.  I'll be posting this again when I have the log cabin border completed.

To see what all the other QAL participants are doing with their medallions, click on over to Lori's blog Humble Quilts to see the link-ups.  

Our challenge border for this next month is Stars.  I've got my fingers crossed that the stars will go better (faster!) than the log cabins!  *wink*