Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June F2F Swap Reveal

Today marks the end of the first month of our Foot Square Freestyle block swap. Esther has received some of her blocks and the rest are on the way. I had hoped to put up pictures of all the blocks made during this swap on my dedicated F2F page but I haven't quite managed that yet. I've been incapacitated too often to have spent much time on the computer. I can, however, send you over to Kate's blog where you can see all the blocks that she has pictures of so far. And I can show you what I made. :- )

Esther requested blocks made with white, mustard, jade-ite or minty green, and coral. I just happened to have the perfect green in my stash! According to my book of block patterns this one is known as Ladies Wreath.

I made a Colorado block too, even though I have no association with the state of Colorado. It puts me in mind of a flower.

Lastly I made an Ohio Star since that seems to be my signature block this year.

There are all sorts of uplifting words and phrases in that gray print in the center of the star. I fussy cut the center patch to get the word 'Create' in coral tones for this star for Esther.

There was a good deal of paper piecing going on in other parts of the world for this swap. I heartily encourage you to pop over to Kate's blog to see what else was made during the month of June. Next up is Annett, who doesn't live all that far from Esther as it turns out. She has asked for blocks that feature white, green, turquoise, and orange. I've already got my blocks for her done but I wont' show them until Annett has them in her hot little hands. ;- )

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Last of the Light Blues

For the time being anyway. ;- ) I've forsaken the big Ohio Stars for smaller stars and Wrench blocks.

Those are 9" stars and wrenches that will finish at 7.5". Oh, there's one 6" shoo-fly block and one 10" wrench in the collection too. 

I've been sewing up other scraps this week as well:

My stand-by 6" blocks and a few more stars and wrenches Oh look, there are a couple of light blue blocks in there. I'd forgotten about them! I tried out a couple of Bouncing Betty blocks (also known as Crosses & Losses). Not sure whether they will develop into the project I had in mind when I made the blocks. When I couldn't focus on a specific project I sewed up leftover triangles into Broken Dishes units. 

I'm looking forward to the new color to be announced in a few days. In the meantime I'm linking up with the other RSC bloggers today over at SoScrappy. There's a lot of inspiration to be had in those other blogs!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Still Blue

This is my design wall on this Scrappy Saturday:

You can see I'm still using up some light blue prints, which surprises me because there were so few in my stash. A little goes a long way in this case! I also found some purple and green scraps to sew into Ohio Star blocks.

I begged a few unused boxes from my local pizza shop in which to store the 12" stars. These boxes are for large pizzas (14") so they're perfect for the job.

They were kind enough not to charge me for them. :- )

You may have noticed that there are several 9" stars on the wall now too. I think my favorite moment in making these blocks comes when I press the upper third of the block away from the middle row.

It's magical, seeing those triangles suddenly become star points!

I made a couple more baskets this week as well. Couldn't resist using that basketweave print to make the whole basket.

I'll be linking up with the other RSC bloggers. If you haven't been around to see what they're making you're missing out on some wonderful blocks and quilts!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Baskets in Blue

I have been surprised at how few light blue remnants there are in my stash. The light blues I have found have not lent themselves to Ohio Star blocks either, in my opinion. I mean, one could certainly make Ohio Stars out of them but I wouldn't find them very interesting. Fortunately another option presented itself this week. The pattern for our monthly lottery block in my local guild is a 10" Basket block. That seemed a much better fit this time around.

Obviously the light blue basketweave print had to be the body of a basket. The flower print I thought I would use didn't really do it for me in the end. Sewing notions seemed like a good alternative though! That started me thinking about what else might be found in baskets. Or what about an empty basket? Maybe one that hadn't been used in a long time?

It's almost easier to make these blocks in pairs than singly so it wasn't long before I had this on my design wall:

And the rest of my design wall currently looks like this:

I haven't done much else with the light blue that was suggested for the RSC for June but I did find a teal from which I made a couple of 12" Ohio Stars. After I made them it occurred to me that I'd had the same print in dark green and made stars out of it a month or so ago!

I'm coming to understand why some of these prints have not been used until now. The scale of the prints or the values within them didn't coincide with the way I work. Of course, when I was buying many of these prints I didn't know what I would be making or how I preferred to work. I just bought what appealed to me. I still do that to some extent but now I know myself better and can avoid those prints that might prove difficult. Well... that's my story and I'm sticking with it. ;- )

I'm linking up with the other RSC bloggers. I appreciate all those who take the time to stop by and see what I've been doing. I do try to get around to all the blogs too but can't always make it. And for those who may be aware of my commitment to the Hands2Help challenge, I did manage to get the binding all sewn down on the African Stars quilt. I just have to ink the label and find an appropriate box for shipping. Hurray!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Happy Morning

I couldn't resist moving my Depression-era repro blocks around some more (see previous post). Instead of grouping the yellow blocks in one spot I tried stretching them out along a horizontal line.

Then I thought it might be interesting to try an asymmetrical arrangement.

After living with this arrangement for a while I decided it was just too lopsided for comfort.You can see that by this time I was working all the way out to what will be the final width of the quilt, 54 inches. It really just boiled down to color placement by this time. I returned to centering the yellow blocks and keeping the Hole in the Barn Door blocks all in a line down the middle of the top.

At that point it became a matter of tweaking color placement and dealing with the corners of the outer border. I only had to make a couple of Shoofly blocks to get something I was happy with.

The quilt should finish about 54" x 66." I found a piece of pink chambray from long, long ago that works perfectly for the back (without piecing!). The original Pinwheel blocks and a few Hole in the Barn Door blocks didn't get used. They have been added to the Parts Department for future use. There are still scraps of a couple of the Depression-era prints to deal with but for the time being I've salted them back into the stash. I want to play with other colors and prints now!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Back to the Thirties

About a month ago I unearthed a set of Depression-era reproduction prints and blocks. This wasn't really a UFO, more like parts and scraps that had been abandoned and then ended up buried under newer projects. You know the drill. ;- )

Inspired by the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (to use up scraps) and Eleanor Burns' technique for making 9 Patch blocks in pairs (look for her book or TV show called Nine Patch Party) I very soon had enough blocks to begin creating a new quilt I decided to keep child-sized. To that end I began with this layout:

The pinwheel blocks sort of stood out in a distracting way. Next I tried this:

Interesting, but it left too many of the other pieced pattern blocks out of the plan. I considered using them for an outer border but thought I'd try a few more layouts first. Like this:

A distinct possibility. I couldn't resist playing with it some more though. I'll show you what happened next in the next post.  I promise not to make you wait too long!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Two Quilts for Hands2Help

I'm just about ready to fulfill my commitment for Hands2Help. The quilts are supposed to be shipped by June 12. I may not quite make that deadline but I won't be far behind. My African Stars quilt just came back from being quilted. The white you see around three sides of the picture below is the extra batting that needs to be trimmed away from the body of the quilt.

I still have to make the binding, then apply it and sew it down. So it's possible I'll have it ready to ship by June 12 but I'm not going to kick myself if I don't quite make it.

Here's a shot in which you may be able to see the quilting design my son used:

It might show up better after the quilt has been bound and washed and dried.

And another detail shot, just because. The oranges really aren't quite that in-your-face in person!

The other quilt I'm sending to Layers of Hope/Quilting 911 is currently in a local quilt show. I never did get a full picture of it to share with you here. The gals organizing the show were kind enough to take this one and send it to me for you:

I'm calling this one "To Market, to Market." Both of these quilts measure about 60" x 80."

And now it's time to do something with those Depression-era print blocks I showed you a couple of weeks ago!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

It's Working!

I joined the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this year with the goal of using up remnants more than actual scraps. If you've been following along you know that I've made a lot of 12" Ohio Star blocks out of those remnants. I've also made two nearly-twin-size tops out of African prints and three flimsies destined to become quilts for children. Being part of the RSC unleashed whatever had been holding me back from using some of those prints I collected long ago. When it hit me how much fabric I must have used up I decided to reorganize my fabric stacks a bit. Mind you, I have two particle board bookcases with five shelves each loaded with quilting cottons. I only rearranged the bottom two shelves of those bookcases but look what I ended up with:

That's one bookcase, with nearly one whole slot empty! The other shelves are less crammed too. Yippee! Of course, Nature and The Magpie's Nest abhor a void. I have new fabric coming, courtesy of the recent Memorial Day sales here and abroad. ;- )

The RSC color for June is light blue, tending toward green if we care to. I quickly rifled through my stacks of blue and was shocked not to find very many remnants. I'll have another, more thorough, pass through them soon. In the meantime, I found enough to make these three blocks:

Those two will very likely end up in quilts for my twin granddaughters.

This one will be added to the collection for future use. It might be a little dark for this month's palette but it was a remnant that needed to be used up.

I will be linking up with the other RSC bloggers on Saturday but I have another linky party this week too, for Hands2Help. Stay tuned!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Let the Swap Begin!

Finally, it's time to officially kick off our Foot Square Freestyle block swap!

For those who may have missed to initial rumblings of this event, Kate (talltalesfromchiconia) and I are hosting an international block swap with ten other participants. We will each make three 12" blocks (each block is a square foot = Foot Square) per month and all those blocks will go to the designated recipient for that month. The giftee gets to state her color preferences but we get to choose the blocks we'll be making for that month (that's the Freestyle part). The ones I make will very likely be simple and traditional but there are a couple of expert needlewomen on the list who may blow our socks off with their offerings. We will all be doing out best work of course, and holding good intentions while we sew. Kate and I will be posting pictures of all the blocks so everyone can see what has been produced. We hope to eventually post pictures of the finished quilts too!

Esther, who lives in The Netherlands, is the lucky one to receive June's blocks. She has asked that hers feature white, light gray, or cream backgrounds and jadeite, coral, and/or mustard hues. The question now is, which blocks to make for her?

There are so many to choose from! Not just these, but blocks I haven't tried yet or haven't made lately. The possibilities are virtually endless. :- )