Monday, October 3, 2022

Smooth Sailing

My fleet of scrappy ships has returned from the islands, quilted and bound. 

 And has been sent on its' voyage to a new owner.

James quilted it with a variegated thread in big swirls. I like the idea of fair winds blowing into the sails.

This quilt was more difficult to part with than I expected. I have no excuse for keeping any more quilts however. There are almost 20 in my bedroom alone!

Friday, September 23, 2022

Jane and Friends

 When last you saw this particular quilt top I was trying to figure out how to bring it to a logical conclusion.

Suggestions were made to reduce the double columns of Hourglass blocks to a single row around the central medallion. It was a good suggestion. 😊


Once I had the Hourglasses in place I had to figure out what to do next. I was fully prepared to leave this as a lap quilt but it wasn't quite there yet. I didn't have enough of the dark red for another frame and to make binding, which was my original plan. Some shopping was called for to locate a suitable color/print to use with the existing prints. The best option I found was a lovely teal shot through with black. It calls out to the lighter teals in the reproduction prints and makes for a lovely final border.

The teal is the same width as the Hourglass blocks, 4" finished. I plan to use it for the binding now. And for the record, I'm calling this Jane & Friends.

There wasn't anything appropriate in my stash for a back so more shopping had to be done. πŸ˜‰  In the meantime, I've started on another Disappearing 9 Patch quilt.

I had some 5.5" squares in the stash and enough of the white scattered with black music notes to go the distance for 13 of the large nine patch blocks. This was a great opportunity to cut up some leftovers and older prints to make what will essentially be an Eye Spy type quilt. The next step will be to quarter these blocks...

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Scrap Happy in September

 How is it the middle of September already?! August seemed to last forever. Sort of like January does. πŸ˜‰ In any case, it's time for Scrap Happy Day, hosted by Kate in Australia and Gun in Sweden. We are invited to share anything we've made from any type of scrap materials. And anyone can play. Just leave a comment with Kate or Gun if you'd like to participate in the future. (Links at the bottom of this post.)

My primary scrap material is fabric, leftover from making quilts. And once again I have dipped into my Parts Department, unearthing twelve 15" blocks I made at various times. It wouldn't appear that they could work together when you consider them singly. When I put them on the design wall, however, I quite liked the very scrappiness of the whole. I suspect a meander or an overall quilting pattern will help to pull everything together visually.

This is a photo of the blocks before they were sewn together. It doesn't appear that I've taken another picture yet. I sewed the blocks just as you see them here. The resultant flimsy would finish 45" wide by 60" long. Because there are quite a few novelty prints in amongst the patches I declared this would go to a child in foster care. It will be the sort of quilt to keep a child engaged I think. There will be no borders, only binding to finish it off. 😊

And here are the links to Kate and Gun and the other bloggers who regularly have something to share made out of scraps. We welcome Noilin and Viv to the group this month. Enjoy!

KateGun, Eva, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, 
Jill, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Claire, Jean, Jon, Dawn, Jule, Gwen,
Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L, Vera,
Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Carol,
Preeti, Debbierose, NΓ³ilin and Viv

Monday, September 12, 2022

Not Ready for Publication

 Progress has been slow, but I've put the border around the stars and squares featuring the Riley Blake Jane Austen reproduction prints. Now I'm auditioning some low volume Hourglass units to go around the perimeter.

The floral prints are from the reproduction line. The script print is something I've had in my stash for a while.

It's one of those that's illegible. I'm afraid I don't have enough of the script to go all the way around the medallion. That particular print is old enough to not be available anymore. At this point I'm not sure what I'll do to compensate. I only have fat quarters of the reproduction prints but there are enough of them, I think, to go the distance. My intention was to make this a scrappy looking quilt; this dilemma only adds to that flavor! I'm still working on an appropriate name for this project too. Suggestions are welcome. 😊

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Elizabeth vs. Darcy, Jane vs. William

 As much as I've longed for the end of August - because of the heat - I find it hard to believe it's actually here! The heat seems to have also robbed me of the ability to remember to take pictures of the small needlework projects I've made when it was too hot to have the iron going. They would be termed slow stitch in modern parlance but to me they're just small pieces of intuitive embroidery. They were fun to do and turned out well overall. (I'm still working on valuing process over end result.) We've had better air quality this summer, for which I'm grateful. No wildfires close enough to affect us I assume. The heat may have kept neighbors from outdoor cooking too, which is helpful.

Anyway, some time ago I purchased a bundle of Jane Austen at Home fat quarters as much out of curiosity as anything else. I thought I might be able to combine those prints with some William Morris reproduction prints I've acquired. It's been on my mind for a while. Finally I brought them all out to see what I could do. I made a few flying geese out of the larger scale prints and fussy-cut focal patches for the variable or sawtooth stars I so enjoy making. I may not have made the best choice for background for the stars (it's a bit busy) but from a distance I think it works.

The star in the middle of the photo above is the only bit of William Morris that's made it into the project so far. I'm not sure I'll be able to convince Jane and William to get along together. I've drawn from other prints in my stash to add variety. The colors in the Austen prints are not the sort of thing I've collected. 

 Not that color representation here is accurate. 

This is where I'm at currently. It's only 32" wide and 40" long. After much searching I've found another deep red I think will work as a frame around this medallion. What happens after that remains to be seen. I'm happy to have this be a small quilt, lap size, but it needs to be larger than this!

Monday, August 22, 2022

Scrap Happy Follow-up

 After Scrap Happy Day last week (see previous post) I ordered a panel print from in hopes that the individual panels would fit between the 8" color blocks. In spite of the distance between us I am always amazed at how quickly orders from Thousandsofbolts (and one nut!) arrive. 

These darling dinosaurs looked the most promising on the web site. I lost the color framing around the dinosaurs but otherwise they fit nicely. 

I also dropped a couple of my color blocks in the more pastel shades and made more 16 patch blocks in colors found in the dinosaur print.

What you see here will finish at 40" wide by 48" long. Seems a good size for a new baby. 😊 I'll just let the binding act as a frame. I found sufficient yardage in my stash (after an extensive search) to make a back. It's a simple lavender tone-on-tone scroll print. Now it's on to James for quilting!

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Scrap Happy in August

 I have more than one project I could share with you for Scrap Happy Day this month! For now I'm just going to share one. πŸ˜‰

I needed some rather mindless sewing to do recently so I went through my 2.5" scrap squares and pulled out 16 per color family to create blocks that will finish at 8" each.

I had a few of this sort of thing already in the Parts Department. But then I learned of the birth of a new great niece. Color blocks are always good for babies!

The question is, what to use between them? I have scrappy stars that might work (they're the same size as these 16 patch blocks). I could also frame up some 6" blocks to fill in the blank spaces. No decision has been made at this point. I have been trying to include some of the more whimsical or juvenile prints from my scrap box to make these blocks to add interest and surprises in the end product. 

In the meantime, the scrappy Ships quilt from last month's Scrap Happy Day has almost completed its' maiden voyage. I'll have to share that with you in a couple of days. 😊 

To see what others have been doing with their scrappy materials just click on the links below. And thanks to Kate and Gun for hosting this monthly link party!

KateGun, Eva, Lynda, Susan Birthe, Turid, Cathy,  

Tracy, Jill,  Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys, 

Claire, Jean, Jon, Dawn, Jule, Gwen, 

Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L, Vera, 

Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Bear, Viv

Preeti, Edith, Debbierose, Carol

Saturday, August 6, 2022

#JustBecause Book

How has it been a whole week since my last post?! Time really does fly when you're having fun. Or at least when you're engrossed in a good book. πŸ˜‰

 I've been working a bit at a time on a fabric book for some time now. During the last week it became a finished product. I began with some rough cut pieces of yarn-dyed plaids I won in one of the Disabled Artists Foundation auctions. About the same time I was learning about art journals from YouTube videos. I also came across Susan Taylor Brown's videos and began tuning in to her live streams. She encourages us to make art "just because." This sounded like an ideal antidote for my perfectionist tendencies. I decided to have a go at turning those pieces of cotton fabric into pages and a cover for a book. Most significantly, I was determined to do it without straightening any edges or making everything the same size and shape!

I began with some slow stitching on single pieces of the fabric bundle. 

I played around with layers of textiles. I created a couple of pockets, and then made a pair of tiny tags to live in them.

Even a feather from one of my canaries got stitched down!

 There are beads and buttons strewn throughout.

A lot of the laces also came from dAFi (Disabled Artists Foundation, Inc.) auctions.

 But of course there are treasures from my own hoard included, like labels from men's neckties and quilter's cotton prints.

 Assembling the pages into signatures and then assembling the book as a whole was the scariest part. I hadn't thought out the process in the beginning and that complicated matters a bit. I'm happy with the end results though. 😊

The front cover.

The back of the book.

And that's the end of the story!

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Weighing Anchor

 My scrappy ships are all fitted out, ready to set sail. 

For their maiden voyage I've decided they will sail the south Pacific, heading for the islands.

That means they will be sailing over assorted marine life (including mermaids!).

Given the nature of the scrappy ships I took the opportunity to use up various ocean-theme prints to piece the quilt back.

There are rows of hermit crabs and then shells at the bottom. That's actually where I began, with the largest pieces of fabric from my stash that fit together color-wise. Many of these fabrics were bought on spec. Like the proverbial butterfly, I am attracted to bright colors. That means I sometimes end up buying prints that can be difficult to use. My style of quilt making has evolved over the years too, so that what I bought ten years ago doesn't work as well for the way I make quilts these days. I established with width I needed for this quilt back, then worked my way up in rows until I had the length I needed. This came together more easily than I expected. I usually struggle to piece quilt backs. Even though these are larger pieces than I use to make quilt blocks I guess they were small enough for me to wrap my head around to get the job done. πŸ˜‰ I do still have some small bits of these prints laying around. It will be interesting to see where they end up!

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Setting Course

 I rigged up 70 of the 113 ships with sashing, seven columns of ten ships each. 

 Then it was time to make the long sashing strips to go between the columns. All the sashing strips are 2" finished. The question was, was there enough of the batik print left to do the job?

Barely. The final vertical length was made up of the off-cuts from previous strips. Several were about 5" long but I also had to piece in a 1.5" bit. This is all I have left of that batik:

A strip 1.5" wide and a 2.5" square.

But the quilt was not as wide as I had figured or wanted it to be. I'd miscalculated somewhere along the way. And those long sides looked pretty unfinished to me. Of course more of that print was not available (at least, not where I looked for it). I started shopping around for some other batik to use, this time for borders and binding. I found a couple of possible options online but that's always a risky venture. I had another look through my stash and came up with yardage I'd discarded for sashing. It now seems perfect for those outer borders and binding. 😁

It has nearly the same colors in it and provides a finishing touch without being distracting. There's even enough to make the borders 3" wide so the quilt top will finish at about 60" wide and 80" long. (Binding only will finish the top and bottom edges.) Once I get those border strips in place it will be time to figure out what to do about a back...⛵️

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Rigging Up

It only took a little figuring to realize I had enough (more than enough!) Ship blocks to create a new quilt top. Given that my ships are made out of scrap patches they include every color of the rainbow. I didn't want to use more white around the blocks because this quilt may end up with a young person. White is not easy to keep clean, I don't care how careful you are. 

The Ships are only 6" square (finished). I thought about combining them with other blocks from the Parts Department. My first thought was a horizontal row quilt with different blocks in alternate rows. Or possibly a medallion style design. Both seemed too complicated for my capabilities at the moment. 

I have discovered that I can build columns of blocks with sashing and stagger the blocks for a more interesting setting than the traditional grid format. The challenge with these scrappy ships was to find something that would work with the wide range of colors and print styles. There didn't seem to be anything of sufficient quantity among my regular cotton prints to do the job. However, I found a couple of batiks to audition. I've avoided combining batiks and quilting cottons in my quilts in the past - that's just my version of OCD at work. This project will give me the opportunity to free myself from that particular chain. 

I think this black overlaid with pinks and oranges and yellows will provide good contrast to the majority of my ship hulls. It's lively without being too distracting or pulling too much attention to itself. And I have enough ships to be able to leave out any that don't work for one reason or another. I may yet use some 8" stars for side borders but will leave that decision for later. For now I'll content myself with rigging up my fleet for future sailing. 😊

Friday, July 15, 2022

Scrap Happy in July

 The 15th of each month is the day my friends Kate and Gun invite us to show something we've made out of scrap materials. This month I've only increased the inventory in my Parts Department (scrappy blocks waiting to be put to good use). However, it looks like time to start work on a new quilt top out of the Parts Department!

I've made these Bear Paws out of 4.5" squares and HST's that finish at 2". They are 6" (finished) each. Whether or not I choose to set them in the traditional Bear's Paws block remains to be seen. I like to use them as individual paws to create borders.

You can see that a couple of Ships sailed into the Magpie's Nest this month too. Of course there are more 6" Hole in the Barn Door blocks as well. 😁 I counted up the Ships I have in dry dock. There are 110. You'd think that would be enough to do something with!

I've also made some 8" star blocks. Most of them have whole-cloth center patches.

However, I also managed to make up more postage stamp units to go into stars in the future:

So maybe you'll see those next month. πŸ˜‰ I have to get borders on the Doves quilt and make a back for it before I can get heavily involved in another quilt project. In the meantime, please visit the links below. Not everyone is a quilt maker but they all have scraps they might have used to make something interesting or useful or fun. And thanks to Kate and Gun for hosting this link party every month!

KateGun, Eva, Lynda, Susan Birthe, Turid, Cathy,  

Tracy, Jill,  Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys, 

Claire, Jean, Jon, Dawn, Jule, Gwen, 

Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L, Vera, 

Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Bear, Viv

Preeti, Edith, Debbierose, Carol