Sunday, August 28, 2016

Auditions, and Other Stuff

Good morning!  First thing today, a question.  Can you guess which one of these irons is doing the job I bought it to do?
If you guessed the antique iron (sometimes called a sad iron) you would be right.
Here's what I bought it to do--be a nice heavy bookend on my shelf.

I bought the electric iron to HEAT UP so I can get the wrinkles out of fabric and press quilt blocks.  It has been a disaster from the beginning.  When it started leaking water, I stopped using it as a steam iron and got a spray bottle to dampen the cloth.  Last week it finally quit.  I've had it about a year.
You can probably tell, I'm mad at this iron.  I'm also mad at myself for not saving the receipt and taking the darn thing back, especially since it wasn't the cheapest iron I could have bought.  It's a brand with a good reputation among quilters.  But not with me anymore.

Here's the new iron--the very cheapest one in the store.  And I saved the receipt this time!  We'll see how long I can go on less than $20.

Time to go to my happy place.
 Ah, that's better.

I'm auditioning this week, as I prepare to finish quilts made from the bag of scraps I bought at the flea market.

First, the Three and Six blocks.  I finished 42 of them.  What do you think of the green for the set?  I like the idea of setting them on point, but I'm not sure how I'm going to do the quilting.  I've never quilted an on-point quilt in sections before.
All the print triangles in the quilt are from that $8.00 scrap bag.  These 3 are the only triangles I had left after finishing the blocks. 
Here's another view of the blocks laid out on my "design floor".

I'm making progress on the Pyramids quilt.  I added the plaid border, and started quilting the sections.  This is the bottom section, just under a third of the quilt.  The top row of triangles isn't quilted yet.  I'll quilt it after I add the next section.  I'll quilt the borders after I get all 3 of the sections quilted and sewn together.
I'm doing some very simple quilting here.  I started by quilting in the ditch, and then did outline quilting on either side of the seams.  I actually enjoy the quilting when I'm doing these small sections.
The auditioning here is for border designs.  There are lots of options.

Here's what I chose for the backing.  It's a vintage cotton print, although probably from the 1970s rather than the 1930s and 1940s like the scraps in the top.  It's the same print we used for my Daisy quilt.  I like these little triangles.  This will just about use up this fabric.  I bought the whole bolt at a sale for $4.00.
The last audition today is for the rail fence blocks.  I found this pattern in Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, #477b.  It's a Ruth Finley pattern, which she called Roman Square.  I'm trying to decide if I like the red or not.
I think I like it!
These blocks finish at 4.5 in. square, so I'll need tons of them for a twin sized quilt.  I've already used up nearly all the pieces I cut from the scrap bag, so I'm adding in vintage scraps from my "collection", although I may not have enough from the same time period.
Not to worry!  If you don't have scraps, make some!  I went through my stash of vintage fabrics and tore off 9 in. strips of prints I like from the 1930s and 1940s.  It's time I started using more of this stuff instead of just hoarding it.
I've got lots more to cut, but a nice big stack is ready to sew, ready for whenever I have a free minute.  It is easier for me to find the time and energy to piece during the week than it is to quilt.  I mostly save the quilting for the weekends.

What are you working on?  Are there scraps involved?  Inquiring minds want to know!

I'm linking up with Busy Hands Quilts this week, for Finished or Not Friday, and with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop.

Friday, August 12, 2016

A Good Start

Under this dish towel is a new start.
Specifically, this is a new sourdough starter.  It works with just flour and water.  I add a little of each every day for six days, and then bake the bread on the seventh day.  Then I store the starter in the frig and make bread, rolls, etc. whenever.  I had kind of gotten out of the habit of doing this, but I want to get back to it again.
Here's the link to the recipe:  Mary Janes farm sourdough starter

There should have been a label on that bag of vintage scraps I bought recently.  It should have said something like Warning!  Quilt Starter!  If you feed it, quilts will come!

It was just a gallon zip lock bag, stuffed with relatively small scraps mostly from the 1930s.  Once I got the triangles cut out, here's what happened.
I used the equilateral triangles to make these blocks:
I'm calling them Pyramids.  The block is a simplification of an old block called Sugar Loaf.  Adding the white made the print triangles go farther, and of course so did adding the yellow.
I didn't have to worry about putting two of the same print next to each other.  Very few of the scraps were repeats. 
I'm up to 14 rows of blocks, and I think that will do.  They're sewn in sets of two rows each here, and they'll wait on the bed in the spare room until I figure out how I'm going to quilt them and what I'm going to do about a border.
What would you do?  Would you use a solid color?  If so, what color?  The yellow is a darker shade, and the triangles are every color under the sun.  What do you think--green?  blue?  purple?

In the meantime ...
I also cut half square triangles (LOTS of them!).  I'm pairing them with white to make
these little blocks.
This block, Brackman #1689a, has several names, including Double X #1 and Three and Six.  I'm opting for Three and Six.  I needed a block that would look okay with multiple scrap pieces.  Most of the scraps were only big enough to cut one triangle, so nothing matches.  Again the white will help.

But wait!  There's more!
Some of the pieces weren't big enough for triangles, but worked okay as short narrow strips.  These pieces were cut 2 in. x 5 in.  Three of them sewn together make a 4.5 in. finished Rail Fence square.

I'm thinking of setting them in a different way.  We'll see if I get that far this week.
Here are even more pieces!  These rectangles were either too short or too narrow to work for the Rail Fence blocks.  The closer stack is of pieces cut 2 in. x 4 in., and I have no idea what I'm going to do with them. (Any suggestions?)  The other stack has pieces 1.5 in. wide.  String blocks may work for them.
Believe it or not, there is still this big pile of leftover pieces!!!  How does this happen?  This looks like more than I had to start with! Maybe they can be crumbs?  They're too small for the pieces I was cutting, but just too neat to throw away.
If you're wondering why I'm only blogging every other week, here's the reason!  Captain Adorable and his older brother need lots of attention, and I am happy to give it to them.  I'm the luckiest grandma ever.

I had lots of fun cutting and sewing this week.  I didn't get anything finished, of course.  But I did make a good start.

Wishing you perfect tension and flying bobbins.