Friday, July 12, 2019

A Pieceful Week

Welcome to Treadlestitches!
Here's what I've been sewing on my Singer treadle this week--spiky stars.
Two of these are not like the others!  
While making the pink spiky stars for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, I ended up making two more in patriotic fabrics for Covered in Love's July-August block drive.  (Read more about that HERE.)  So with the 4 from last year and 8 more from this year, I made an even dozen.  Maybe this will make up for forgetting to mail any last year.  Little Buddy and I took them to the post office Friday morning, and sent them on their way to Texas.
These blocks are also easy to make with strips.  All the pieces in this 12 in. finished block are cut from 4.5 in. strips.  The triangles are cut using the Tri-Recs rulers.
My pink stars are made of 1800s reproduction fabrics.  I am normally not a big fan of pink, but I absolutely adore the double pink prints popular at the end of the 19th Century.
For backgrounds, I used white or off-white scraps and strips, mixing and matching as needed.
These still need to be quilted by the block, which is the way I'm finishing this quilt.  Heck, the dark blue spiky stars from LAST month still need to be quilted.  The blocks are waiting until I get the dinosaur quilt finished, and I haven't been working on it much this week.
We're right in the heart of flea market season now.  I took a few photos at the latest one in Elkhorn.  It's amazing how many people use antique quilts as tablecloths or backgrounds for their booths.  Such great eye candy.
Gorgeous 1930s quilts, with scads of handwork.
These tops were only $50 each.  Beautiful, but I managed to resist their charms.
I didn't buy any quilts, but I did come home with a mystery.  And it even happens to be pieced with double pink!
I have been studying antique quilts for years, but I don't think I've ever seen this particular block.  It looks like some kind of basket.  It also looks like it might be hard to piece.
If you've seen it before, could you let me know in the comments?  (By the way, I've turned the photo so I could see the block more clearly.  The upside down legs in the background do look a little weird.)

Even though I have lots of quilting that needs to be done, this just seemed to be a good week to cut and piece, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
And in the end, that's what it's all about.

I'm wishing you joy and peace (or piece!) in the week ahead.

Thank you for reading this post!

Linking up with:
Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict (Can I Get A Whoop Whoop)
Myra at Busy Hands Quilts 
Angela at So Scrappy (Home of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge)
Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework (Oh Scrap)


Sunday, July 7, 2019

One Monthly Goal for July

It has been tough to decide what goal to set for myself for July.  There are so many options.  That's because I have so many UFOs.
Or, I could start a completely new project.  I really LOVE starting a completely new project.

Somehow, I came to my senses.  I didn't "wake up and smell the coffee" like Dear Abby or Ann Landers or somebody used to say back in the day (I don't drink coffee), but it was kind of like that.  Maybe something in what's left of my brain decided I need to Get Real.

Here's the project that leaped to the front of the line.
I need to finish this rail fence quilt top, which I started back before Christmas.  The rectangles were cut by the charity committee at my guild, and I've been doing the piecing.  I got as far as making all the blocks, and was putting them into rows.  Most of the rows are together, but it took me a long time to put the rows back in order for this photo.
I've been using these pins to keep track of the rows.  You probably can't see from this photo, but the pins have alphabet letters on them. 
The problem is, I've been shunting these rows aside while cutting and sewing and pressing other things, and the pins were falling out.
I think I've got everything back in order, but the only way to keep it that way is to just sew it together.

So this is my goal:  Finish this quilt top by the end of July.  That means sewing the rest of the blocks into rows, the rows together, and adding a border if I think it needs one.

This didn't seem like much of a goal to me at first.  Then I started thinking about all the stuff I have to do in July.  My oldest grandson is in at least two plays, which means transportation to and from rehearsals.  We're taking a vacation for a whole week.  And then there's the regular errands and chores, and taking time out to go to the park with Little Buddy.  Plus, it's already July 7th!  A modest goal is probably the way to go.

The OMG is such a great motivator.  So far, I've met all six goals I've set this year, which is just amazing for me.
Maybe this will make seven!

Good luck to all of us, and smooth stitching.

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts
for the July OMG

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Red, White, and Blue--and Pink!

Welcome to Treadlestitches!  I hope you're enjoying your weekend.  I know I am!
Look what I found!  I was taking advantage of the time off from babysitting to do some straightening up in the sewing room, and found 4 star blocks I made for Covered In Love last year and never sent.
Covered in Love is "a quilting charity that provides comfort quilts for families of people who have passed away in the hospital".  Kat of Kat and Cat quilts has block drives every two months or so, and then Kat and other volunteers make quilts from the blocks.  I must have made these blocks in July or August last year.
I'm embarrassed to have never sent the blocks, but good news!  Kat is running the same block drive for July and August this year.  The theme is Red White and Blue stars, and you can read all about it HERE.  You can make any star block you like, that ends up measuring 12 in. finished.
I'll definitely send in the 4 blocks from last year, but it seemed like a good time to make some more.  I love to get out the patriotic fabrics on the 4th of July.  I have a total of 8 blocks done, with 2 more cut to piece later today.  Monday morning Little Buddy and I will go to the post office and actually mail them off.
One of the nice things about making these particular stars is how easy they are to sew, and how all the pieces can be cut from 3.5 in. strips.  I use the Easy Angle and Companion Angle rulers to cut the triangles.  All the fabrics are from my scrap bins.
The Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month is pink.  Honestly, it's never been my favorite color, but I'm trying to warm up to it.  This is one of our peonies about a month ago--the blooms are all gone now.
I didn't get as far as sewing any of the pink blocks yet, but I did pull out pink strips that will work for the zigzag quilt.  There are some good novelty prints in here--boots, Matryoshka dolls, sheep riding bicycles, etc.  I get a lot of these fabrics second hand, and it's great to do something with them.
With all the rain we've had lately, we really haven't had to water the garden much.  The rain barrel is full! Little Buddy really loves to fill his watering can and "help" me when we do give the veggies and flowers a little drink.
Have a lovely weekend, and a happy week ahead.
Cheers for reading,

Linking up with:
Angela at So scrappy
Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Myra at Busy Hands Quilts
Cynthia at Oh Scrap


Sunday, June 30, 2019

OMG, I'm coming in under the wire

It's the very last evening of the very last day of June.  It's hard to believe (especially for me!), but I actually DID make my One Monthly Goal for June.

This is the actual goal, and I quote:
So here's my one monthly goal for June.  I'm going to make a twin-sized dinosaur quilt for Little Buddy, my youngest grandson.  The quilt will be designed, cut, and pieced before the end of June.

And here's the quilt!
The colors are a little off here.  I had to take the photos inside because of a thunder storm.  What looks black is actually dark blue, and the colors are bright prints, not pastels.
This is not actually a quilt top, per se.  I quilted the center panel and the first two borders as though it was a baby quilt.  Then I added the borders (for the top) and wide strips for the backing.  Once that was done, I laid the batting strips in and spray basted them.
So it's actually a partially finished quilt.  Only the last 3 rows remain to be quilted.

All four corners have one of these squares from the panel.  This one is Little Buddy's favorite.  It's a very stylized T. Rex.

I've got my work cut out for me this week, to finish the quilting, bind the quilt, and make a label.
But--my OMG for June is complete.
If it wasn't for the last minute, I'd never get anything done.

Cheers for reading, and thanks to Patty for the OMG.

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal--June Finish Link Up

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Winding Up Dark Blue

As always, I love the Rainbow Scrap Challenge!  It's so much fun to pull out the scraps and make blocks in the color of the month.  With June ending tomorrow, it's time to finish the dark blue Sawtooth Square blocks.
Sometimes, it's easy to see why quilt blocks got certain names.  This is an antique circular saw blade, with lots of those sawteeth (is that a word?) just ready to cut into a board in an old time saw mill.
The block itself is a LOT simpler, giving the barest impression of all those teeth on the blade.
I'm not sure which part I like best--making the crumb centers or finishing the blocks.  Either way, these scrappy dark blues are ready to add to a Sawtooth Square quilt.

So I'm caught up on the RSC quilts.  Hurray!

In other news, this "squirrel" I started last week is nesting in and making itself at home.
I wrote about this block last month.  I'm calling it Roscoe Star.  My only problem is deciding which blues to include and which to leave out.  Making these blocks is like a treat.  And no calories!

OMG, June ends tomorrow!  So how's that dinosaur quilt coming along?
This will be my Little Buddy's quilt for his big bed at our house.  My OMG (one monthly goal) for June was to make the top.  But once I got into it, I decided to do things differently.  (It's a thing I do.)
When I had the center pieced with the first two borders, I layered it up and quilted it as if it was a baby quilt.  Then I added the next border, the backing (cut large) and the batting (also large).
As of this writing, I'm still working on the last border, and hope to add it on later today.  Then the 3 outer borders will be ready to quilt.
This book, Machine Quilting in Sections by Marti Michell, gives directions for making quilts this way, plus several other ways.  It's handy to have.

It's finally getting hot here!  This week, Little Buddy and I went to the grocery store as usual.  This time I asked him what flavor of ice cream he wanted.
"Chocolate!" he said without hesitation, "I like chocolate every day."
Me too!
This Thursday is the 243rd birthday of the United States of America.   
I am grateful for the courage of the founders of our country, and for all the people who have stood up in times of trouble to point us in the right direction.
May the better angels of our nature guide us in the coming years.

 Happy 4th of July to all who celebrate.

Linking up with:
Myra at Busy Hands Quilts
Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict 
(There appears to be some sort of technical glitch with photos at Sarah's link up this week.)
Angela at So Scrappy
Cynthia at Oh Scrap

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Mood Indigo

Welcome to Treadlestitches!
It's a beautiful morning, and I'm thinking about one of my favorite colors, indigo blue.

One of the first things that drew me to quilting was my love of antique quilts, like the top above.  And of all the amazing colors in these old quilts, indigo blue was/is my favorite.
Just look at the way this unknown quilter used many different blue and white prints as setting squares for these scrap blocks.  She may have done that because she didn't have enough of any one print.  I'm glad she didn't--it gives us so much more to look at.
Dark blue is this month's color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, so I've been pulling out my reproduction indigo scraps to make my spiky stars.
Here they are, ready to be quilted by the block.  I'm hoping to finish the spiky star quilt before the end of the year.
Having recently organized my "big scraps" (pieces ranging in size from a fat quarter to nearly a yard), I have a whole box of repro blues.  Hmm, wonder what I could do with these?  Isn't there a blue and white quilt in the back of my mind somewhere?
Oh, yes, this one.  I saw it hanging in the Roscoe Antique Mall in Beloit last December, and took this photo. 

Of course I had to make a test block. The pattern is a variation of Double T or Capital T (Brackman #1662b).  Because the corners are turned so the dark fabric is to the outside of the block, it doesn't look like a T at all.
So I'm calling it Roscoe Star.
And off we go, on another squirrel chase.
Just as soon as I get over this cold.

I'm wishing good health for you this week, and happy stitching.
Cheers for reading,

Linking up with:
Angela at So scrappy
Myra at Busy Hands Quilts
Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Cynthia at Oh Scrap 

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Celebrate the Stash

Yesterday, I had a terrific Stash Enhancing eXperience.  The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts has their annual fabric and fiber rummage sale this weekend, and in a phrase I learned from my dad, I "made out like a bandit".  I took my cart, the one I use at the Farmers Market, and filled it to the brim.

Like all Stash Enhancing eXperiences, it was so much fun.  I tossed gallon bags of fabric into my cart with gleeful abandon.  As you can see, I was focusing on bright colors and novelty fabrics.  A small amount of wool and cotton yarn also came home with me.

The photo above shows the fabrics after they have been washed and folded.  Not pictured are a seven yard piece for backing and a four yard piece of heavier cloth for grocery bags, which are still churning through the laundry.  That cart was FULL.

Lucky me!  More fabric!  Through the Hands 2 Help Challenge, I won a gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop.  I added a little money of my own, and bought all these great fabrics on Clearance.  (Check out the hedgehogs!)

I do not feel guilty about either of these buying sprees!  When I wash and fold these fabrics, I feel joy.  When I add them to the rest of my stash, and eventually press and cut and sew them, the joy continues.  And when I make a quilt for someone else, I pass that joy on.

I do not feel any need to destash just for the sake of destashing.  I do plan on doing more of what librarians call "weeding".  Any fabrics I know I won't use or can't use will be passed on to someone else.  And that also goes for UFOs that no longer lift my heart to look at them.

When am I going to stop buying fabric?  Never!

Climbing down from the soap box now, sorry.

Here's what I did with some of my dark blue stash this week.
Zigzag rows for my Project 1, Rainbow Scrap Challenge.
Each of these rows is 64 in. long, which is tough to photograph.  (Do you see the hedgehog fabric?  I'm already using it.)
Weirdly, it just occurred to me this week to do the math on this quilt.  Oops!  I already have more rows than I would need for a twin sized quilt, which was my goal.  And we haven't even done all the colors yet!  I think there are going to be two zigzag quilts instead of one.

In other news, I finished this donation quilt.
The four patches are made from bright fabrics and squares cut from a Laurel Burch jungle print.

Here it is outside, with Little Buddy's lawnmower.

Don't you just love these cats?  And the zebra, of course!
Here's the back, a butterfly print with an orange strip to make it wide enough.

The fabrics for this quilt were selected and cut by Colleen, a friend on the Charity Quilt Committee of my local guild.  I decided on the arrangement and did the sewing and quilting.  I added the orange fabric for cornerstones and the orange binding and the strip on the back.
Orange, I just can't quit you!
But I love working with dark blue, too.

This week, I'm wishing you the joy of fabric.  Celebrate the stash!

Linking up with
Angela at So Scrappy
Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Myra at Busy Hands Quilts 
Cynthia at Oh Scrap