Saturday, April 21, 2018

Dinosaurs and Little Lambs

This was the view out my sewing room window last Sunday.  It's an April snowstorm.  We got yet ANOTHER one on Wednesday, and even had to cancel our quilt guild meeting.  What the heck, Winter?  Why won't you go away?
In between bouts of railing about the weather, I finished this little quilt.
It's a dinosaur quilt!   I borrowed my grandson's dinosaurs for illustration purposes.
Here's the quilt laid out on the table.  It's small, only 38 in. square.  This one will be donated to the Little Lambs Foundation, for kids going into foster care, emergency shelters, or hospitals.  It's part of my participation in Hands 2 Help.  I'm actually ahead of schedule, they're not due until the end of May.

The inspiration was the fabulous fabric, Jurassic Jamboree by Abi Hall.  I think it's out of print now, but I bought a charm pack at a recent quilt show.
I used an old favorite pattern, Highland Fling from the book Dessert Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott.
The squares "lean" left and right, depending on how the triangles are cut.  I've seen this design done a different way, set straight and then cut, which wastes a lot of fabric.  Not with this pattern!
This is all the waste left from 5 blocks.  The blocks are sliver-trimmed after they are sewn.

I paired each light square with dark fabric, and each dark square with light fabric.  But I was one short on the light squares.  What to do?
This happy T-Rex was cut from the backing fabric.  I think he fits right in.
The quilting is mindlessly simple, just straight vertical lines.  It should fold fairly flat and stand up to lots of washing.
Still waiting for spring here.  But I'm sewing while I'm waiting, so that's okay.
What's under the needle at your house?
Have a lovely week.
Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Busy Hands Quilts, and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Recipe for A Sports Quilt

Here's my finish for this week, a sports quilt for a teen boy.  Our quilt group's contacts in social work have told us there is a lot of need for quilts for teens, especially boys, so I put this one together with a familiar pattern.
When I first started quilting, I had the crazy idea of making a quilt in every existing pattern.  This was before the current quilt revival, but even then this was an impossible dream.  There are literally thousands of traditional quilt patterns, let alone all the wonderful new ones shared with us on the internet.
Now that I'm making quilts for charities, I think of good quilt patterns like recipes.  There are some you go to again and again, like menus for week night suppers.  They need to be simple, relatively quick to make, and use materials on hand.  Most importantly, they need to be comforting for the recipient.
This quilt pattern falls into that category.  It's called Scrappy Bricks, and I found it on the website of the Linus Connection based in Austin, Texas.  Click HERE for the PDF.  They give several different sizes, all based on rectangles 4.5 in. x 8.5 in. and 4.5 in. squares.  (They have links to lots of other good patterns, too.)
I made this one three rows longer than the teen size, and added 4 in. borders.  The finished quilt is approximately 48 in. x 72 in.  Long and narrow.  I quilted it closely with 100% cotton batting, to make it flatter and easy to fold up in a back pack.  Above you can see the backing.
Many of the fabrics have sports prints--baseball, hockey, soccer, etc.  I chose the fabrics of the other bricks from the colors of the sports prints, so I have red, black, green, and blue.
I decided not to take any outdoor pictures of the quilt.  Weather wise, it is an absolutely dismal day today, with driving rain and wind.  But I believe in spring because
the robins are back!  These two are sheltering against the wind in our wood pile.
I'm wishing sunshine and good weather for all (including the robins!) this week.
Link ups at Can I Get a Whoop Whoop, Busy Hands Quilts, and Crazy Mom Quilts.
 I love seeing what everyone else is making!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Bright Yellow Sunshine

This was a good week for family times, but not so great for sewing.  My only finishes this week are my blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.
Yellow--what a good color for April!  It may not be warm here yet (high of 36 F today) but the sun is shining and my yellow/gold blocks are done for the month.
Above, Mr. Biddy checks out my piecing on my Wagon Trail blocks, which are using up the 1800s reproduction scraps.
I had some pretty good yellow fabrics this time, but it was hard to decide on the second print.  It needs to contrast with the yellow and the plain background, but seem harmonious.  Hmm.  I'll keep trying.
When it came to making the Mary's Basket blocks, I decided the yellows needed another color to play with.  Red and blue were naturals, and the golden brown worked out, too.
I admit it, I have a favorite!  The yellow center in the blue block above has been in my stash forever.  It can finally find a good home.
Now for the bright scraps!  I made 6 of the easy blocks and 5 of the flying geese ones for my Fly Away Home quilt.  Biddy is checking out the bug print block in case any of the bugs try to run away.
Nope, all the spiders and beetles are accounted for.
I have had a couple of quilts to lay out, but my usual space in my husband's office was taken.
Hubby set up all the train sets in there!  It was so much fun for the grand kids this week.  Big brother was home from school for spring break, and the cousins came on Tuesday.  Little brother (above) starts every day wanting to go see the choo choos.  I don't know if Grandpa is going to be able to take the trains down any time soon.
In the meantime, I'll lay out quilts on the bed or in the family room and count myself lucky to have such a wonderful family.
I hope it's warm and happy wherever you are.
Have a great week!
Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts, So Scrappy,  and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Make A Rainbow

Hello, Friday!  Spring is definitely coming, even to this part of Wisconsin, and we are enjoying a lovely sunshiny day.
I have a small finish this week, a Rainbow baby quilt.  It was so much fun to make from my 2.5 in. scrap strips.  It will go to a child facing abuse or homelessness.  I hope it will be cheerful and comforting.
The blocks are 6 in. square (finished) and very easy to do.  Once they were done, I added the first border, made of 6 in. strips in the same color as the blocks.
Check out the outside border--zebras and rainbows.  Even better than unicorns IMHO.
The backing is left over from the Split Nine Patch I finished last month.

Want to make a rainbow quilt like this?  Here's how.
1.  For each block, cut one 2.5 in. square and four 2.5 in. x 4.5 in. rectangles.  For this block, I made all the pieces the same color.
2.  Piece the blocks according to this tutorial.  WARNING:  Make sure the SQUARE is on top of the rectangle when you sew the first (partial) seam.  If you do it right, you won't have any seams to match within the blocks when you set them together.  FYI, the tutorial shows all the pieces of the block in different colors, not all the same as in the rainbow quilt.
3.  Here's how many blocks of each color to piece:
Red:  6
Orange:  3
Yellow:  4
Green:  5
Light Blue:  5
Dark Blue:  4
Purple:  3
This makes 30 total blocks, to be set 5 across and 6 down.
4.  Set the blocks together following the photo.
5.  To make the first border, cut the following 2.5 in. x 6.5 in. rectangles:
Red:  8
Orange:  2
Yellow:  2
Green:  3
Light Blue:  3
Dark Blue:  2
Purple:  2
You will also need four 2.5 in. squares for the corners.  Cut 2 red, 1 light blue, and 1 green.
Place each rectangle next to an outside square of the same color.  Place the squares in the corners, matching the color of the square to the color of the strips.  Sew the borders, then add them to the quilt.
6.  The last border is cut 3.5 in. wide.  You could use any cute print you like.

The quilt finishes at approximately 40 in. x 46 in.
If you make one of these, could you let me know?  I'd love to see what you do with it.

In other news, I've made a few blocks this week for ongoing projects.
The block with the solid/blue print in the center is a Simplified Hunter's Star for Covered in Love.  I'm hoping to have a few more done before I send them off to Kat.  The other blocks are for our quilt group's blocks of the month.
I'm not quite done here, but I will be before Easter.  I'm making enough of these dish cloths (we always called them dish rags at home) to give to the four families I will see at Easter.  I'm on 11 of 12, and I think knitting is helping my arthritis a bit.

It's in the 40s today, but I know spring is coming our way.
My tulips have sent up their leaves.  No stems yet, but they'll be popping up soon.
See these little red knobs sticking out of the ground?  These are rhubarb stems!  The rhubarb is alive and well, and there are good fresh pies in our future.

For all who celebrate, I wish you a blessed Good Friday, and a very Happy Easter.
Linking up today with Crazy Mom Quilts and Busy Hands Quilts.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Found On the Free Table

Does your quilt group have a free table?  You know, where group members put things they don't want anymore and other members can take them home for free?  Above are a few of my recent free table finds.
Relax and Quilt is an Oxmoor House book from 1998.  It came home with me after the January meeting.
Look what's on the inside cover!  It's a Friendship Ribbons quilt, made by Kitty Sorgen of Newbury Park, California.
We had just been talking at the meeting about making quilts for a local veteran's home.  This seemed like such a good pattern, with a little tweaking of the colors.
So this is what I made.  These are 15 of the Friendship Ribbon blocks on my design wall, which is really just a hunk of white flannel tacked to the wall.
There's a lot going on here.  The light triangles make the "ribbons", the dark triangles and squares make the stars, and the red or blue triangles in the corners made a secondary design.
I've seen something similar before, and thought the pattern was incredibly complicated.  And to be honest, some of the similar patterns I've seen on the internet made my head spin.
Not this one!  Check it out.
This is the block pattern. I am making A blocks (with red points and blue corners) and B blocks (with blue points and red corners) and alternating them in the quilt.  The construction is the same for both A and B blocks, only the colors are different.

This is a 9 in. finished block.
For each block,
cut 1 3.5 in. square for the center, in either red or blue.
make 4 half square triangles in blue/light and 4 in red/light.  These should finish at 3 in.
Arrange as above for block A.
This star is tricky!  I have to look at a finished block every time to make sure I'm placing the star points correctly.

There is also a pieced border that carries the design out to the edge of the quilt.  I'll post about it when I get there.

I'm so glad somebody donated this book.  There are actually TWO MORE quilts in it that I want to make!

Coming Attractions:
Here's a glimpse of what I'm quilting now.  My back has been hurting this week, so I haven't been doing any quilting, but I hope to get to it on the weekend.
This one is a surprise.  It's the same backing as my Split Nine Patch, but underneath is a baby quilt.  I hope to post it next week, with the pattern.
Take care this week!  I'm off to the theater to see my oldest grandson in a play.
Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Busy Hands Quilts.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Green Grow the Quilt Blocks

Hello and welcome!  This is my week for making Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks, in this month's color of green. 
The blocks I've been working on since January are Mary's Baskets and Wagon Trail, in 1800s reproduction fabrics.  I'm trying to make a dent in my repro scraps.  What a hope.
Here are the green Mary's Baskets:
and the Wagon Trail blocks:
Do you see the odd one in the lower right corner?  I found another purple strip, so I added it in.  You can never have enough purple.
This was all I was planning to do with the RSC this year.  Last year was so much fun.  I really looked forward to each new month.  And it did help tame down my scraps a little.
But last year I had two projects with two different kinds of scraps--1930s repros and bright colors.  I was really missing the bright colors this year.
So I started yet another quilt!
It's called Fly Away Home, by Kate Henderson, from her book Strip Savvy.
It's a cute book, with lots of good ideas.
Fly Away Home is a two block quilt.  Block A is this simple one:
Since I didn't start this quilt at the beginning of the year, I'm catching up on 3 months worth.  I've got January's light blue, February's purple, and March's green blocks done.
The alternate block is this one:
It's a cute little flying geese block, which gives the quilt its name.  I only put one block together, since I don't want to have all of the blocks with the same colors.  As the months go by, I'll make more flying geese and add them into blocks.
So much fun, so little time.
The only things I finished this week are two pillowcases.
My little buddy went with me to drop them off at the quilt shop, where volunteers were hard at work making lots of pillowcases for National Quilting Day.  (You can see photos of the ladies sewing and cutting as soon as I get them up on the Ties That Bind blog.)
This is my third year of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and for me it just keeps getting better.  I can't thank Angela enough for hosting it!
Have a wonderful rainbow-filled week.
I'm linking up (late!) with So Scrappy, Busy Hands Quilts, and Can I Get A Whoop Whoop.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Split Personality

Last week, I finished this quilt.  I call it Crossroads.  It's made from my 1800s reproduction fabric scraps.  I bound it by hand this week, and washed it to bring out the crinkly goodness.
Check out these colors--cadet blue, garibaldi red, double pink, indigo blue, and of course lots of shirtings.
Now take a look at this week's finish, a Split Nine Patch:
Bright colors, novelty prints, lots of kid-friendly fabrics.  (It looks good with my grandson's car in the background, doesn't it?)
Sometimes I'm historical, and other times I'm just hysterical.  Maybe I have a split personality.
If so, Split Nine Patch is definitely the block pattern for me.  I was using up strips from the 3.5 in. shoebox for this one.
Here's one block laid out on the treadle cabinet.  Sometimes this block is made with a square of dark in the center, instead of the split square I used.
You can see more of the crazy fabrics I used here.  I got a huge stack of Route 66 fabric scraps at a flea market last summer, and lots of them made it into the quilt.
This was so easy to quilt on my Pfaff with the built-in walking foot!  I just crosshatched the center and quilted lines through the squares.  Between the light and dark areas I quilted with the edge of the presser foot on the seam.
The back is a giant dots print from Connecting Threads.  It comes 108 in. wide, so no seam on the back this time.  My daughter thinks it looks like something a clown would wear.

The binding is from a remnant, and I just barely had enough.  Last year, I bound everything with red, so this year I'm using up the blues.  Not sure what's next when those are gone.  (Shopping??)
The Split Nine Patch will go to a children's charity, and I hope it will be loved to pieces.
I can't wait to see what everybody else is making at Busy Hands Quilts and Crazy Mom Quilts.
Gotta split!