Monday, October 29, 2012

Girl Strings

I sorted my longer novelty strings into boy strings and girl strings and made 24 string blocks this weekend. The girl strings had lots of pinks so I used gray for the center. This will be a donation quilt for Wrap a Smile or Wrap Them in Love when I'm finished. And then I'll work on the boy strings that are full of snakes and snails and puppy dog tails. 

That's what's on my design floor this Monday. Check out what everyone else is working on at Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Taking Inventory, UFO Sunday and Then Some

With my finish yesterday of my last UFO - Cobwebs and Spiderwebs  I wasn't sure which UFO to work on next.  I  don't want to use up my safety pins to pin together another quilt top to finish until I know all my Christmas quilt gifts are finished. 

Most of my UFOs need more blocks in order to sew them together. Why? Because I love to swap. That forces me to sew together a whole bunch of blocks for myself and for swapping but there's never enough for an entire quilt. And so, they become piles of UFOs. 

So, I took inventory this week in order to decide what to work on. I'm only counting the piles that have been around 6-8 months or more. 

Needs more blocks - 
Rainbow Thrifties (pile says 150 of them - 6 inch blocks. May be enough)
Pink Thrifties 
Batik Happies
Pink and Black Sampler
Black, White and one other color Sampler
Depression Blocks (there may be enough of these for a Queen quilt- didn't count)
30s block swap
30s Tulips
Quaker Stars
Grandsma's Sewing Room (Spools and a few other surprises)
Civil War Sampler
Farmer's Wife Sampler
Sylvia's Bridal Sampler
Cake Walk
Country 9 Patch (there may be enough)

Ready for Quilting

Roll, Roll Cotton Boll (Quiltville Mystery)
Orca Bay (Quiltville Mystery)
Double 4 Patch
Sunbonnet Sue

So, for my UFO sewing today I worked on a few more 6 inch spools. I'm making the spools black with aqua and red backgrounds. And, I'm including a few other 6 inch blocks as a fun surprise. I'm calling it Grandma's Sewing Room. I made 12 more blocks today with aqua backgrounds which brings me to a total of 46 out of a total ???   I don't know yet how big I want to make it. 

I basically only have the weekends to sew and the rest of the week if I do sew it is hand sewing while I watch TV. 

So, I finished up a baby quilt for a niece who is expecting/over due. I used some Happy Blocks with kittens on them from my stash of Happy Blocks and tried free motion quilting some 4 petaled flowers. 

 First attempt and they are kind of wonky but the baby won't care because the quilt is so soft and cuddly.
Sorry the pictures are so blurry today. My hands are rather shaky. 

For the back I used some fabric from my stash that I bought off the sale table at Hancock's at 50 % off on Senior Citizen's Day which meant another 15 % off.  I bought several yards so I would have it for backing fabric. For the binding I used some gray fabric with pink, blue and white flowers that I think I've had since the 70s. If I remember correctly I made a skirt that buttoned down the front from some of it. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Scrap Value

The Cobweb & Spiderwebs quilt is finished except for a label and a spin in the washer. 

The spiderwebs were all made from bright scraps. The quilt was more work than I should have gone through for a bunch of small scraps. It remained a UFO for some time and's a quilt.  And, I'm happy with it. 

And how can you have spider webs without Spiderman?  With this quilt some stash has been removed from my hoarde and from my scrap bins.  

And yet, the scrap bins overflow.

I'm always working on postage stamp blocks with the 2.5 inch square scraps. 

Today I sorted the long children's novelty strings into piles of girl strings and boy strings and started on some Heartstring blocks for a girl quilt I will either donate to Wrap a Smile or Wrap Them in Love.  when finished. I've finished 12 out of 24 blocks.

And, when the scraps get too small to mess with into the mulch box they go. I use the smallest scraps for a colorful mulch in the garden.  Waste not, want not.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Christmas Gift Suggestions

I finished the Christmas tree skirt for my daughter.  It's the first Christmas tree skirt I have ever made and I kind of made it up as I went.

Unlike me, my daughter loves decorating for the holidays. Now her children do too. 

If I know my daughter she will treasure this Christmas tree skirt and it will be handed down for generations until it falls apart.

And maybe, long after I'm gone, someone will be thinking of me at Christmas time when they put this skirt around their Christmas tree. 

The label, when I get it finished, will read: 

Christmas gift suggestions: 
To your enemy, forgiveness. 
To an opponent, tolerance. 
To a friend, your heart. 
To a customer, service. 
To all, charity. 
To every child, a good example. 
To yourself, respect.

- Oren Arnold
American editor and free-lance writer (1900-1980)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Crazy Brown Color Study RR


I've been participating in a Brown Color Study Round Robin with a group of 4 ladies from the CQForNewbies Yahoo Group. Each person sends off a pieced brown block to make the rounds to every lady in the group for stitching/embellishing. All of the embellishments are supposed to be brown. Above is Angie's block as it came to me after Beth, Ruby and Toni had their way with it. I'm the last person to stitch on it and there doesn't seem to be much room.   Well, I've never done this before...but I removed those YELLOW sunflower buttons because they were not brown and they bothered me. But I'll send them on with the block to Angie when I mail it out.


Here is the block after my additions and it's ready to mail on home to Angie.  I tatted a butterfly and attached it with a bullion and above it added a brown leaf button. I crocheted a few star flowers and added bead centers - one in the lower left space and a couple of others on the right hand side. I added a whole bunch of bullion "flowers" around the pig button and along that seam below and I added a few kiko flowers below the wheelbarrow...

...And, most of this stitching is mine - bullion roses with leaves, ribbon flowers, kiko flowers and the seam treatment with beaded flowers.

Can't wait to see what my block will look like. I've had a heart on all the Color Study RRs I've participated in. I might make a fancy bed runner or wall hanging. But I'm really not much for wall

Monday, October 22, 2012

Feeling Really Catty

 My husband's cousin died last Wednesday. She was from a family of 11 kids. My husband is from a family of 8 kids. All of those kids have kids and most of those kids have kids. With such large families it is easy to get out of touch especially if you don't have a Facebook page (like me).  Anyway, I saw my niece at the funeral and saw she was pregnant and ready to pop (October 25). I had no idea.  Well, I keep a box of Happy Blocks handy so grabbed up a bunch of girly looking cat themed blocks to sew together for a quilt.
I got as far as an assembled top. I HOPE to finish it up this weekend.  (Photo seems a little blurry. The flimsy was on the clothesline blowing in the wind, like the answers, my friend.)

Linking up to Linky Party Tuesday at Freemotion by the River. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wonky Webs and Wonky Stars

Anyone that has been here from Leah Day's Freemotion Quilting UFO Sunday links knows I've been working on my Cobweb UFO for the last 3 weeks or so. So, I'm sure you are all sick of seeing it but here it is again. The only thing left is the binding! So, prepare to see a UFO become an FO by the end of next week. (No promises...I usually only find time to sew on the weekends).

 I quilted each web with some wonky webs...
...and finally am finished with all but the binding.  I used bright scraps for the webs, scraps for the batting zig-zagged together.  This is the second method of construction I've used on a spider web quilt and I didn't like the first method and didn't like this method but I have one more to try.  This method left me with a lot of leftover fabric for what I used for the centers. Normally I would link to the place where I found the tutorial but since I don't recommend it I won't. 

Spiderman is on the back and you can kind of see all the webs and the curliques I quilted on the cobweb stars. 

But my spiderweb quilt is not the only thing I quilted on this weekend.  I've had a Christmas tree skirt top laying around here for a couple of months that needed to be finished up as a gift for my daughter. 

 I was in a swap on the Quilt-N-Friends Yahoo Group where we swapped 6.5 inch charms with a Christmas theme. I took two charms, laid them right sides together and sewed all around the four sides with a 1/4 inch seam.
I then cut them on the diagonals...

 ...and ended up with 4 HSTs which I sewed together...

 ...into this configuration.  Then I let it lay around for a few months.  And today I zigzagged together more batting pieces, made a quilt sandwich, cut a six inch hole through all 3 layers and a slit down the side...

...then I quilted it all together with some wonky stars. What a challenge. I can't even draw stars very well let alone quilt them but I guess they will be okay.  And, hopefully, this, too will be bound and labeled by next week.   Then it will be 2 down and ???? to go.

Check out the progress on other UFOs at  UFO Sunday at Free Motion Quilting Project.  While I'm feeling linky I'm also linking up to Sew Many Ways Sew Darn Crafty linky party - a great place to pick up ideas. And to see what is on everyone's design walls visit Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Old Bag Makes New Bags

Make a pattern from an old plastic grocery sack traced on to an old paper grocery sack. Lay out 1/2 yard of two pieces of fabric since bag will be reversible. Cut out.

 Sew around the sides and bottom of bags. Stitch again over the top of the previous stitching for reinforcement. Clip corners.
 Place one bag inside the other - right sides together. Pin top together. Leave opening for turning and pin bag straps 1/2 inch from the top.
 Sew together. Clip curves.
 And make sure not to stitch all the way to the top of the straps.   Turn bag inside out through the opening.
 Sew straps together.
 Pin openings closed in top and straps and blind stitch closed.
 Top stitch around top of bag. Reinforce straps by sewing across the seam previously blind stitched closed.
Voila...reversible bags in a matter of minutes.

My granddaughters will turn 8 in October (on Halloween) and December (on Pearl Harbor Day) and I will use these as their gift bags. Now I just need to decide on gifts to fill the bags.

 I'm linking up to Sew Many Ways Sew Darn Crafty linky party - a great place to pick up ideas. Also linking to Linky Party Tuesday at Freemotion by the River. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hourglasses - Arghhhh! And How Things Become UFOs.

Worked a little on my rose and gray hourglass quilt. I finished 5 rows of 20 across. I started out alternating the blocks but soon found out I messed up the layout so am just leaving it messed up. I also found several spots where I'm going to have to rip because the points don't match up to my satisfaction.

See how the pattern changed? Arghhhhh.

 See where some of the points don't match up very well?   Arghhhhh!

See where the points don't match up and where the blocks don't alternate? The blocks that don't alternate don't bother me too much but that section where all the gray points don't come together really bothers me. Arghhhh!... and I'll be ripping that section and redoing it. If there are too many sections like that I see another UFO in my future.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

UFO Sunday

Last week I posted about a spider web/cobweb quilt UFO. This week I was hoping to get it pinned and quilted. Problem is that I have to get down on the floor to pin the quilt. (Oh, my aching back). Problem is that I have to clean off the card table next to the sewing desk in order to do any quilting. The card table carries the most of the weight of the quilt while quilting and I hate cleaning it off - putting scraps in scrap bins, putting projects in boxes, putting fabric purchased that week in the proper drawer. There are only so many hours outside of work left for hobbies so cleaning is not my favorite thing to do.

So, while procrastinating the pinning and cleaning I worked on another UFO to give me some sewing time I crave on the weekends to make things right with the world (and my mind).

 I worked on a Blue Double 4 Patch UFO. These blocks were from a "no stress" (participate or not each month) monthly swap several years ago on a list to which I no longer belong because I didn't like the direction/tone it was taking.  Anyway, each month for a year we could swap blue double four patch blocks and I don't think I missed a month. I love getting fabric in the mail. It was fun to see what everyone chose for blue fabric for the blocks each month.

Last January I laid them out on my design floor (oh my aching back) and picked them back up, labeled the rows and sewed 3 rows together, bought some backing fabric and left them all in a pile in the corner of the sewing room where they have remained a UFO until yesterday. (Well, actually it still is a UFO - just not in the corner anymore).

Evidently I didn't know how to multiply back in January. There are 90 - 8 inch blocks( finished size) but if there are 9 in a row and 10 down I think it would be a quilt would be 72x80 (not 90). Now, if my grown kids were to notice that they would think I was starting to get senile.

 Anyway, this UFO is now in the flimsy stage (72x90). So, now I have another UFO ready to pin (oh my aching back) and quilt.

I eventually got my quilt sandwich made and pinned (oh my aching back), cleaned off the card table next to the sewing desk so I could start quilting my wonky cobweb quilt. I wanted to try a spider web from Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project blog in each "spider web"/cobweb.  (Keep in mind I am an old lady with poor eyesight).   The left side got a little wonky down near the bottom. That is where I start to sew backwards and don't see where the next line of the web happens to be.  The seam throws me off some too. And sometimes my hands just plain shake.

This one was a little better but it's still a little wonky down at bottom left (see that green patch?).

I only made it through 4 webs before I decided to quit for the day when the bobbin ran out of thread. I can't sit at the machine for long before my back starts to ache.  (Hear a common theme to this post?  I need a new chair and/or a new body). 
 Spider man is on the back - scrappy quilt, scrappy guy - spider webs, spider man. The quilting kind of blends in to the backing.
You can't really see it but I just quilted some circles around the spider webs in the fabric in the star that forms between the cobwebs.

And that leaves me with the does everyone manage to pin/baste together large quilts? I put mine on the hardwood floor in the living room and sit on top of it to pin it. It's not exactly easy on an old body. I'm not sure I have room to put two large tables together to lay quilts out on but I may have to find room one of these days or stop making large quilts.

Oh, and take a look at what other UFOs are being worked on at UFO Sunday at Free Motion Quilting Project.   And linking up to Linky Party Tuesday at Freemotion by the River.