Friday, July 8, 2016

Bearly Finished

Here's how I'm rolling today, with my Singer 66 and a tall glass of iced tea.  A great summer afternoon in the sewing room.  What could be better?
And here's this week's finish--the patriotic teddy bears quilt made from a panel.
Or actually 2 panels, and lots of red, white, and blue rectangles.  I made this top last week as a give away for charity.
As you can see, I quilted it with a wave like a flag waving in the wind.  I had two stencils, one large (for the teddy bear panel) and one smaller that fit in the rectangle rows.
Marking was a pain, because my chalk marker was too light to show up on the light fabrics, and my sketch and wash pencil was too dark on the dark fabrics.  Plus the chalk pencil kept breaking.  But you can't quilt marks you can't see, so I just stuck to it.
I did the quilting on July 3rd, and bound the quilt on July 4th.  So the quilt is born on the 4th of July (cue the music).
So, what's next?

This is what's next!  Adam, my adorable new grandson.  This was my first week babysitting Adam, who is six weeks old.  I'll be taking care of Adam and his older brother Gabe while their parents are working, so I may be finishing things a little slower.  And that's okay with me!
Gabe (shown here with his cousin Henry, who is making a silly face) is nearly 11, and is great to have around.  I've been his babysitter since he was born.

Today I'm making more blocks for a quilt I started a while back.  These are traditionally called Album blocks, but modern quilters are calling them Granny Squares.
This is a finished block.  It really is a lot like a crocheted granny square.  I am making them out of 2.5 in. squares--1 print square for the center, 4 print squares for the next "round", 8 print squares for the third "round", and 12 unbleached muslin squares for the outside.  I had 42 blocks made, but the blocks only measure 8.5 in. finished, so I decided I needed a few more to make a larger quilt.  I'm going up to 56 blocks, and I should finish them today.
The original 42 blocks were heavy on the red and blue prints, so I'm using other colors for these new blocks--pink, purple, green, brown, and turquoise.
There are lots of articles online and in magazines about how to choose your fabrics, usually involving a trip to the quilt store and a focus fabric.
Here's how I do it.
I need squares, so I'll sort through these leftovers and purchased squares in the basket and see what I can find.
Then I'll go through the drawer of 2.5 in. strips.  Hmm, some good stuff in there!
Next I'll dump out the "big scraps" bin of reproduction fabrics and cut some of these up.  There's an actual rule for what does in the bin--scraps bigger than 4.5 in. wide, but smaller than a half yard.  And since I made up the rule, I can break it if I want to.  This comes under my responsibilities as Queen of the Sewing Room.

The unbleached muslin for these new blocks comes from the scraps of the backing I used for the Treadle On Block Exchange Bowtie quilt.  I just love using stuff up.

So that's the agenda for today.  What are you working on?
I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts today, and I can't wait to read what everybody else is doing.

I think I need another glass of iced tea.  And a cookie.  Definitely a cookie.

Wishing you the joys of summer, and family, and quilting.


  1. I love the looks of your old singer! I also love the Album quilt blocks. I love that 'old' look.

  2. Your album blocks are beautiful and your little grandson is adorable. He has such bright eyes!
    --Nancy. (ndmessier @,

    1. Thanks, Nancy! I'm still thinking about the wonderful quilts on your blog post this week.

  3. What a blessing grandchildren are to us. Love your old Singer, they are the best. Debbie

    1. Thanks, Debbie! I'm really partial to the old Singers.

  4. When I saw this quilt top last week, I was impressed by your timing, but wow! to finish a patriotic quilt on July 4th is really impressive. I love the red, white and blue fabrics that you added.

    The album blocks are really nice. Thanks for telling us the original name, I've only known it as granny squares (and I've been quilting for a long time). haha Speaking of granny...enjoy your grandsons. You're lucky to get to babysit and play with them.

    1. Thanks, Mary! I am amazingly lucky. All 3 of my children and all 4 of my grandchildren live within an hour's drive. Have a great week!

  5. Queen of the Sewing Room...I love it! So great that you can change things as you like. So many people think there are rules everyone else follows. I like your name too, Ruth.

    1. Thanks, Ruth! I've never been much for rules, as long as no one gets hurt! I'm not the boss of much, but I'm the boss of my quilts.
      Have a good week!

  6. rags used as useful materials. a very inspiring at all


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