Saturday, July 25, 2015

Parts Dept. Project Part II

If you've just come here from the link party over at SoScrappy you might want to scroll down one post to see where this story begins. I'll wait here for you. :- )

With the Shoo-fly rows in place all I needed to achieve 80" length were two rows of 12" blocks. That's simple enough, I have a box overflowing with 12" Ohio Stars! But wait, I need to widen the flimsy too. If I want 12" blocks across the top and bottom I'll want 12" on either side as well (to avoid any fancy math or piecing). I can use 12" Ohio Stars up to a point but there's an 8" gap that will need to be filled. Hmm...

How about an 8" Sawtooth Star with 2" strips on either side? Simple, straightforward, and it maintains the star motif that predominates. There aren't many 8" blocks in the Parts Dept. and no appropriate stars so I made a couple.

I'm especially happy with the one with the heart. :- )

It looks square again at this point but it's really 60" wide and 56" long. All I had to do was to give the flimsy a quarter-turn and select the stars to make up one end border.

And then turn the whole thing upside down and do the other end!

Here's a pretty good shot of the finished flimsy.

This is the top I want to get quilted up and bound in time to be a part of the Scrap Quilt Challenge 5. I've never participated in that before but if ever a quilt qualified, this one will! I think there are less than a handful of prints that show up more than once in this top. Most of the stars were made as a direct result of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Several of my red stars for July have been put to use in this top! You can see wha the other RSC bloggers have been up to over at SoScrappy today.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Dent in the Parts Department

If you've read my blog recently you know that I enjoy piecing traditional quilt blocks. You may also have picked up on the fact that the blocks then go into what I call my Parts Department (inspired by Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran). Generally I have no specific plan for the blocks I make that end up in the Parts Department. Every once in a while it becomes necessary to reduce the inventory one way or another.

I've pulled out my collection of 6" Shoo-fly blocks more than once in an effort to begin a new quilt and reduce the inventory in that particular section of the Parts Department. The last time I didn't give up right away. Instead I put them away and pulled out the 9" Ohio Stars I've been making from the leftovers of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks. I had enough to put together a 36" square:

My goal with these scrap blocks is always to make a comfort quilt an adult can use. I shoot for 60" x 80" just because anything larger is harder to build on my design wall. So I needed to figure out a way to turn this square into a rectangle at some point. Why not sooner rather than later? Back to the Shoo-fly drawer...

That would add 6" to each end, 12" overall.

But what if I add sashing strips between the blocks and above and below them?

Two inch strips above and below make those rows finish at 10" each. The strips between the Shoo-fly blocks are 1.5" finished.

The next step was to turn the Ohio Star square around and do the same thing to the opposite side:

That added 20" overall the the length. I'll show you what happened next in my RSC post on Saturday. After all, some of the red blocks for July have ended up in this project!

Sunday, July 19, 2015


This is us today:

Luna (formerly known as Leah) has been shedding fur by the handful lately. Unfortunately, all I can shed is clothing, and only up to a point. We had about a week's worth of normal temperatures around here but the last two days have soared into record territory again. We are promised cooler weather tomorrow. It can't come soon enough!

I've managed to sew up more blocks featuring red scraps and remnants. I'll be linking up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, probably one of the last to the party this weekend. That seems to be the story of my life these days.

I'm just grateful to be feeling better overall (aside from the heat of course). The beginning of this week was rough but the last couple of days have been better. Or they were until I ran into some toxin somewhere that laid me out for over 24 hours. Still, it's been a better week than some recently.

I made a couple more of the 6" Sawtooth stars with 3" Nine Patch centers. I think those tiny squares are all gone now. There was a time when I enjoyed working that small. That time has passed for the most part.

I also made up a couple of 8" Sawtooth stars, just because I could. My red scraps seem to be running more to burgundy than true red.

I think there may be a patriotic puzzle quilt in my future. I have red, white, and blue blocks in a variety of sizes and configurations in my Parts Department.

The "puzzle" part will be figuring out how to set them all together into one quilt top. I'll have to be feeling really well to pull that off!

Now, off to see what everyone else has been doing. The party is over at So Scrappy if you care to join me. :- )

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Half Way There

We're half way through the Rainbow Scrap Challenge year. Angela has suggested we take this opportunity to assess where we are with our individual RSC projects. To that end I counted up the 12" Ohio Stars I've made with white backgrounds.

So far I have 54, more than enough for a single quilt (given that I rarely make anything larger than a twin size top!). I have no specific plans for these blocks however so I'm just going to continue to use them to bust my stash.

Some of the remnants I've pulled in response the the RSC were appropriate for the quilts I want to make for my twin granddaughters. I have 24 blocks so far for those two quilts. There's every chance a few of the Ohio Stars will end up in those quilts. 

It wasn't long before I figured out that Ohio Stars with backgrounds other than white would be useful, even desirable. I have 39 that fit that category.


The smaller scraps leftover from making these 12" blocks have been turned into 9" Ohio Stars (of which I have 48 currently) and, more recently, 7.5" Wrench blocks.

The only RSC related project I'm keeping close tabs on are the 10" Wrench blocks.

These blocks feature prints that are now gone entirely from my stash and that were favorites of mine. I'll be keeping this one for myself when it's complete. I have 30 of these blocks and will need at most 18 more. 

One of these days I'll have enough energy to dig into the Parts Department and begin building a new top out of all the random blocks that have accumulated. Our recent heat wave has subsided a bit, which helps. Mostly I just need to overcome inertia. ;- )

I'm linking up with the other RSC bloggers over at SoScrappy. There are some fun projects being made this year!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

A Little Celebration

Happy Fourth of July fellow citizens of the USA

Belated well wishes to my Canadian friends for their recent Canada Day anniversary too. :- )

When I started pulling red remnants for my RSC blocks this month I very quickly ran into some patriotic prints. They have been the focus of my block building this week. It all began with some 1.5" squares leftover from a project years ago. I made them into 9 Patch blocks and then turned those into little Sawtooth Stars (6").

Those of you who have been part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge longer than I have (this is my first official year) are probably well aware that red scraps can come from seasonal prints. For example, I found these hearts that were part of a Valentine's Day line:

And then I found these teddy bears and the ecru holly print in my Christmas stash.

I have to say, that block has me thinking about a red and white quilt for the Christmas season. For that matter, we could leave it out through Valentine's Day! 

At the end of the week this is what my design wall looked like:

Not bad, given how hot it's been around here. We are not used to, or prepared for, high temperatures in this corner of the States. My husband finally broke down and bought a portable air conditioning unit. Until it off-gasses completely it has to stay in the garage so any fumes it generates won't make me ill. Mr. Magpie has set up a bed out there so he can be comfortable through the night. He feels the heat more keenly than I do. I can manage with a fan in the bedroom, at least as long as the air quality remains safe enough for me to keep the windows open!

I'm linking up with the other Rainbow Scrap Challenge bloggers over at SoScrappy. There's a wonderful variety of blocks being made around the world!