Saturday, March 18, 2023

Feedsack Follow Up

 Well, the feed sack quilt top from my previous post didn't turn out quite the way I expected. No real surprise there. The fortunate thing is that I'm quite happy with the way it did turn out. 😊 

I knew I needed sashing between the columns, the question was which of the remaining fabrics to use. A couple of them were just the wrong colors. And of course, there wasn't enough of others. I began with the narrow sashes between the Churn Dash columns.

There was one print I'd been saving to use between the flying geese the and Churn Dash blocks. Those two vertical sashes would have been wider than the pink ones. Sadly, it turned out to be too light in value. The pink worked again, but it left me short on the width I wanted. The obvious next step was to add narrow sashes to the two long sides on the flimsy.

And then I was delighted to discover that I had enough of the rose print to go all the way around the quilt top. I'd wanted to use that print but up to that point I wasn't sure where it would fit in. 

I was able to make a back for this small quilt (about 52" x 62") from yardage I had on hand. I used new quilter's cottons in hopes they would provide strength and stability for the loosely woven feed sacks. Now I'm faced with the conundrum of what to do with what's left of the feed sack fabrics. For the time being I'm just going to put them away again. Other scraps are calling my name. πŸ˜‰


Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Scrap Happy in March

 It's time once again to share anything we've repurposed or made out of scrap materials. This blog hop is hosted by Kate in Australia and Gun in Sweden on the 15th of each month. I've been very remiss in that I've not kept up with the efforts of the other bloggers. I'm guilty of a degree of laziness, but for the most part it's just my health issues that keep me from visiting everyone. My sincere apologies. And my deep gratitude for those who visit and leave kind comments. 😊

I wasn't sure I would have something for this month, having just completed the quilt top for my husband (see previous post). However, I was prompted to pull out the small selection of vintage feed/flour/sugar sacks I acquired somewhere along the way. I maybe had fabric from four whole sacks, the rest are pieces that have been cut or ripped from sacks and even a couple that were taken out of old quilts. The stitching lines are still visible on those pieces. I washed most of the fabric but left any stains that didn't come out. 

You probably can't see it, but there's a very fine, brief line of feather stitching on one of the half-square triangles in the red gingham Churn Dash block. The blue stripe I used for some backgrounds is not feed sack material but scraps from previous projects. In fact, anything that did not come from a sack is scrap material. I did try to stay with prints that would be similar to the era from which the sacks came. Mostly I think that would have been the 1940's or 1950's. The yellow block below is more likely to be from the 1930's. 

Because my source materials are limited I knew this would be a relatively small quilt. And it will need to be handled gently. I made as many Churn Dash blocks as I could and then managed to cut some pieces for flying geese units. I've been designing as I go, in the spirit of "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." 

I liked this layout but needed to figure out how to make the flying geese and the Churn Dash blocks come out to the same length.

My solution was to use some recent scraps and add a couple more geese. At this point I will have 54" in height (finished). Now I get to figure out how to go about adding width. I think I have a workable plan; you'll have to come back in a few days (or longer!) to see how it turns out. In the meantime, please visit these other folks who may have something to show you. Amo and Alissa are joining us for the first time this month; we offer them a warm welcome!

KateGun, Eva, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, 
 JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera, Edith
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Carol, Preeti,
Amo and Alissa

Thursday, March 9, 2023

A Fowl Quilt

 A couple of years ago my husband accompanied me to our local quilt shop. I was looking for specific things as I recall. Probably the shop had a sale going too. A set of panels caught my husband's eye, vintage-y looking illustrations of chickens on a white ground. He really likes the style of the artwork and has always had a thing for red, black, and white in combination. So the panels came home with us along with everything else. And then they waited for their turn to be put to use. Seems their time has come. 😊

It took a while to settle on a block pattern to use for filler between the panels. Hubby prefers less busy quilts, which can be a challenge for me. Of course the panels didn't cut to a convenient size. I framed them up to finish at 15" square and then made the alternate blocks out of patches that finish at three inches.

The rooster and hen block on the lower right came from a different piece of fabric, it was not one of the panels. It worked well with the panels though, and hubby had no objections to my using it. I couldn't bear the thought of using a single red for the alternate blocks. It was something of a struggle to make what I had go the distance. So much of what I have in my stash was too bright or too contemporary looking. Once I had this central bit I had to figure out how to make the quilt top wider and longer.

That gave me the opportunity to introduce a few more red prints. The black, by the way, is a chicken wire print I've had in my stash for nearly 20 years, I bet, just waiting for the right project. I will use more of it to bind the quilt.

Hubby is suitably pleased with the results. The quilt will finish at about 60" wide by 75" long. Neither of us are tall people.) It would be lovely to have this a finished quilt by the end of the month as we will be observing our 39th wedding anniversary then. I doubt that will actually happen, but it would be nice.  I'm sure hubby will be happy to receive it whenever it gets done. πŸ˜‰

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Small Slow Stitching Projects - MAP

 My Monthly Art Projects (MAP) are hand stitched efforts with a focus on using items I've collected over the years that can be sewn onto a base. 

Up until February I'd been working on a scroll of fabric over scrap batting. It measures about 3.5" high and 40-42" long. In February however, none of my items felt like they wanted to go on the scroll. At some point I'd stitched a 3.5" square just to have some hand work to do. It was a whole cloth piece, a printed quilting cotton. I stitched over the lines of the pattern in the fabric. But then it sat. I didn't know what to do with it once I'd done all the stitching. 

When I opened my box of embellishments early in February the lime green button grabbed my attention. For reference, it's 1.375" in diameter. (Just under an inch and a half.) I laid it on the stitched square and suddenly I was off to the races!

I found a vintage button in my stash and layered it on top of the contemporary button. I also got out my beads for the first time in several years.

I don't remember how I came by the star charm.

I picked apart a bit of wool yarn to decorate the top. I'm quite pleased with the end result. 😊

I've made several other small hand stitched pieces too. Not all during February, but I don't think I've shown them previously so here goes...

This one is about 3.5" high and 5.5" wide.

The flower pots are buttons, as are the flower centers. I used a bit of rick rack for the stem of the tree (or whatever it is!) on the right and sequins for the blossoms. The bird is also a sequin.

The bird was cut from another quilting cotton. The doily is vintage. This piece is 3" high and 4" wide.

This is another one that's 3.5" high by 5.5" wide. You can probably see that I beaded the heart and used another bird sequin. The butterfly is a button. There are tiny beads on the strip of pink, in the centers of the flowers printed thereon. The black background is actually several scraps of various black prints.

The background of this 3.5" x 5.5" piece is made up of three strips of cotton scraps. I had fun playing with the gears to create a steampunk look for this one. I used more wool yarn, feather stitching over it to keep it in place.

And on this one (3" x 4") I used a couple more of the embellishments from my box. (Does that mean I've already done one for March?) The postage stamp is an actual stamp.

All of these small pieces will be going to the Disabled Artists Foundation Inc. (dAFi) for their April fund rasising auction*. The theme for that auction is ephemera and embellishments that can be used in art/junk journals.  I see them as pocket fronts or tuck spots that can be added to pages. They will add a little bulk but, from what I've seen, a lot of journal makers like their books to be bulky. 😁

*The auctions are live on YouTube on the second Saturday each month. If you want to bid you'll need to fill out a bid form (only once). They begin at noon Eastern time. Previews are aired the Thursday prior to auction day.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

A Quilt Top in Two Acts

 The quilt top I started and shared in my Scrap Happy Day post has been complete for over a week now. Life has been happening, as it does, and frankly, I forgot about posting anything. Let me show you what I've done.

I began with these pieces. The panel was new but the smaller bits were fussy-cut from remnants of previous projects.

The little star block on the lower right hand side measured five inches. The request was for a quilt about 48" wide and 75-80" long. I only needed to add about seven inches to each side to achieve that width. The first thing I did was to frame up the fussy cuts. A few random strips had to be inserted to bring the length up to where it needed to be. I'd purchased a yard of an orange print overlaid with black fililgree at some point that turned out to be perfect to fill in between the central panel and the sides. That completed the upper two-thirds of the quilt top.

The colors in the central panel and the sashing strips are a closer match in person than the photograph depicts.


I'd started the lower portion of the quilt top with the two skeleton panels. They only needed some framing in black. The strip above it was made of more fussy-cut bits pieced log cabin style.

That made up the lower third of the quilt top. And this is the assembled flimsy:

 I think it came together out of an abundance of disparate parts pretty well, if I do say so myself!

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Scrap Happy Day in February

If you want to see a truly scrappy project - a quilt in this case - check out my previous post. 😊 The project I'm sharing in this post has begun with scraps but will be supplemented with new fabrics before it's complete. 

I had a couple of panels left over from making this quilt:

 And there were still bits from my Macabre Medallion quilt from 2017 (whose end product photo I can't seem to find) in the stash. James made a request for a specific size quilt. While he's certainly capable of making a quilt on his own he's not inclined to do so. He enjoys enhancing images in quilts with quilting though. So I decided to see what I could do with the leftover panels and pieces. 

I began with two skeleton panels. Of course they weren't exactly the same size.

I framed them up to the width we're shooting for and brought them up to equal heights with strips of a lovely black on black print I had on hand. There were a few fussy cut patches from my MM quilt; I built them up log cabin style to extend the "shelf" in the middle of the upper row. If you double click on the photo you should be able to see that more clearly. It was a piece I received in a scrap bag. I evened that row out with more leftover strips from previous projects. 

And now it's time build the upper two-thirds of the quilt. I have these fussy cut pieces to work with and some other odd bits. Not enough to go the distance however.


So, I have purchased another large panel (on clearance - does that count as scrap? πŸ˜‰). This is the current proposed layout:

All I have to do now is frame up the fussy cuts and assemble the sections. While I'm doing that, you can check out how others are utilizing their scrap materials by clicking on the links below. Not everyone on the list is a quilt maker, you may be surprised by what you find. The link party is hosted by Kate and Gun on the 15th of every month. Participants live all around the world, which makes the journey even more interesting. If you'd like to participate just leave a comment with Kate or Gun. This month we're welcoming Karrin to the party! 😊

KateGun, Eva, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, 
Jill, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera, Edith
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Carol,
Preeti, DebbieroseNΓ³ilinViv and Karrin

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Happy 9 Patches

 In my ongoing effort to reduce inventory here in The Magpie's Nest I pulled out all the blocks that would finish at nine inches. 

As you can see (top to bottom), there were Hole in the Barn Door blocks, Shoo-fly blocks, a few 9Patch blocks, and liberated or wonky stars. But not enough that I felt I could do anything useful with what I had. The obvious solution was to make more blocks of one sort or another. My tin of 3.5" scrap squares has been in danger of overflowing onto the floor for some time so I decided to make more 9Patch blocks. I was able to make so many that I had enough for a scrappy 9P quilt!

This flimsy at this stage would finish at 54" square. I chose to add a 3" border all the way around, bringing the top up to 60" square.

I was happy to find a use for this print that I love but that hadn't yet found a home. I think it ties everything together well. I was also a bit surprised to see how many other purples there were in the scrap blocks!

There were quite a number of juvenile/novelty prints in my scrap tin. They quickly became the focus of my efforts when choosing the patches for each block.

There are still plenty of 3.5" squares to use in another project or other blocks but at least I've made room for some new additions. And saved myself the task of tidying up the floor after a scrapalanche. πŸ˜‰

I tried to build a back for this quilt out of yardage on hand. That didn't go so well. Why do I find it so easy to make blocks and build quilt tops but have such a struggle with creating the back for a quilt out of assorted pieces of yardage?! In the end I purchased a wide back in more purple. I figure this will go to a child somewhere, so I wanted to avoid lighter colors that would show dirt and wear more quickly. I expect there will be enough of the backing fabric to also bind the quilt. No doubt there will also be plenty of leftovers to cut into more scrap patches!

Monday, January 30, 2023

MAP for January

 When I set up my Monthly Art Project (MAP) I expected to make individual small projects, one a month. So far I've just kept adding to the scroll I began at the end of last year. I laid a strip of Tim Holtz's Eclectic Elements fabric over batting and have been hand stitching to secure and embellish the two layers. The red spiral was January's MAP element. I thought I would be adding the parrot stamp button from my box of elements in February.

Instead, I found myself stitching on the skeleton chart. And a very special piece of old lace.

I wish it were easier to photograph this long piece. You can see how it began in this post. I've done more stitching on the first section.

Now it's time to be thinking about what I might do in February. Add something more from the box of goodies or make an independent piece? Time will tell. πŸ˜‰

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Three Quilts and a Flimsy

 I've been having issues with Blogger the past few days. You'd have been seeing these results sooner otherwise! 

You've seen all of these quilts previously but they have now been bound and laundered and are ready to head out of The Nest. First up, a quilt begun for a Scrap Happy Day effort, Scrappy Strips:

This was quilted by James with a neon green thread in a meandering path. It finished at 58" x 76 inches.

Next up is the yellow and black quilt. It finished at roughly 60" square.

James quilted with a large, open scroll in yellow thread.

The third quilt also finished at just under 60" square.

This one gave James the opportunity to do some outline quilting in the panels. That made for a nice change of pace for him. 😊

Can you even tell he outlined the birds on a branch?

 And the flimsy? It's the quilt I started for Scrap Happy Day this month. You may recall that I'd built seven rows from my Parts Department and just needed to sash them. That turned out to be a bit more challenging than I expected but I got there in the end. 

I was determined to use more scraps for the sashing. There were plenty, it was just the math that threw me off at times. (I tried to calculate strip lengths ahead of time. Turns out that didn't work so well.) There are top and bottom borders too, so the finished quilt will be about 60 by 80 inches. 

The completed quilts will eventually head to Europe to be distributed among refugees from Ukraine. The Parts Dept. Quilt will probably stay local, for a youth in foster care. ❤️