Saturday, September 24, 2016

Scraps of Fabric, Scraps of Time

Hurray!  Not only is the Pyramids quilt all in one piece, it is quilted!
I'm still working on the binding, so the dark blue edge you can see in the photos will be much smaller when I'm done.
After dithering for a week or so, I did some very simple quilting in the borders.
I used masking tape to mark straight lines, and quilted on either side of it.
Just for fun, I added a serpentine stitch next to each straight line.  It's hard to see here, sorry.
I've had lots of help this week!  Here's my youngest grandson playing on the "terrible" quilt I finished a few weeks ago.  I'm liking this quilt more now that I'm using it.  It's still badly made, but the baby doesn't care, so neither do I.
Biddy the cat had to get into the act, too.  I was (finally) binding the Daisy quilt on the kitchen table when he decided to take a nap in it.  I think of the Daisy quilt as a "sister" to the Pyramids quilt since they have the same backing fabric.
In other news, I finished sewing the rows together for the red rail fence quilt.  It's in two pieces, ready for me to find a vintage backing in the basement and start quilting.

Here's a short tutorial on joining rows with sashing and no cornerstones, like the red rail fence.
First, sew a long sashing to a row of blocks.
Next, using a ruler and a pencil, make a mark on the sashing where the seams would line up.  This is what I'm doing in the photo below.

Make small marks, that will be in the seam allowance when the next row is sewn on.
You can barely see the marks in the photo above.
Now line up the sashing seams in the next row with these marks, and pin.  Stitch.
If all goes well, your vertical sashings will line up across the whole quilt.

I'm still finding time to sew, even with my busier schedule, although I may not get around to blogging every week.  I really love reading all the blog posts and seeing what everybody is up to at Crazy Mom Quilts and Busy Hands Quilts.  
I'm linking up there today.
I'm wishing you warm hugs and flying needles this week.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Clean Up On Aisle One

Do you ever go into your sewing room, see an awful mess, and just decide not to see it?  After all, you only have a little time to quilt.  Who wants to spend that time folding stuff, sorting stuff, and hauling stuff to the basement?  I came in here to sew.  Right?
Eventually it does get to be too much, even for me.   These are the before pictures.
Before I folded, and sorted, and hauled stuff to the basement.  Before I dusted and rearranged items on my shelves.  Before I vacuumed.
Warning--the next photo is dirty and disgusting.
This is the dirt I dumped out from the vacuum cleaner.  I filled the whole canister with just the sewing room dirt.
Ah, the after pictures.  I had to take a couple of pictures right away, before I mess it up again.  It's always a huge challenge to vacuum under the treadle pedal, since I can't move the treadle by myself.  I used the vacuum hose and even scooped out lint and fabric trimmings with my fingers.  Remind me not to trim dog ears at the treadle!
Look, Ma, no piles of stuff to trip over!
I feel a little better now.
Here's my finish this week--a doll quilt, shown here on an antique doll bed.
If it looks weird, there's a good reason.  The quilt is made from pieces of an 1870s quilt top.  The original quilt must have been a 9 patch set with off white sashing and double pink cornerstones.  The pieces were rolled up in a bundle of fabric I bought at a flea market.  They weren't blocks, just pieces, and many of the pieces looked like they had been chewed (mice?  Eww!)  I wish I had taken a picture of them.  Anyway, I cut the ragged edges off and assembled them together.  There really wasn't a way to match up squares, blocks, etc.  The border is from my stash of 1900s fabrics.
I just couldn't give up on these wonderful madder browns.
So I made a whole quilt this week!  It's about the size of a hand towel, but hey, it's finished!

I'm still making progress on my vintage scrap bag quilts.
After I finished all the rail fence blocks, I had to take them down to the living room to lay them out.
Then I started making rows, sewing a 2 in. x 5 in. red solid piece in between each block.
Here are the first two rows, set together with a long red sashing.
Close up.  I'm going to put a red border around the outside.  I'm on row #8 of 12 total.
In other news, the Pyramids quilt is finally in one piece!  All the sections are quilted, and the last seam is sewn on the back.  As soon as I get the rows next to the last seam quilted, I can start on the borders.
You'd think I'd be done piecing from the vintage scrap bag, but this antique quilt top gave me an idea.  Look at all those little scraps!
Here's what it looks like on the back.  Each diamond is crazy-pieced on a cloth foundation.
What if I did that--with 6 pointed stars?  I cut the cloth foundation diamonds from feed sacks, using my Accuquilt cutter.  It was kind of fun sewing the pieces onto the foundation.
I pressed the seams open, to avoid some of the bulk.
Now I have to decide.  Do I really want to do this?  And if I do, what color should I set the stars with?  White?  Light blue?  Green?  Orange?  Just not pink, I'm not a big fan of pink.
Oh, boy, here I go again.
One more finish today.  I cut the last of the rhubarb from my little garden, and made a rhubarb pie.  (Good thing I took this picture, it's half gone already, thanks to my husband, my grandson, and me.)

What are YOU working on?  I hope it gives you joy.

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts
and with Myra at Busy Hands Quilts.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Little By Little

I have a little finish this week.  It's another baby quilt to donate, made from some of the fabric we used for tablecloths at the baby shower we had for my newest grandson.
Here's a closeup of the fabric--cute hexagons with zoo animals scattered through it.  The quilt is super simple, just 6 in. squares and two borders.  I quilted in the ditch, plus an X through each square, and bound it.
It's nice to have it out of the closet, ready to go to a new home.

My other projects have been moving along slowly.  But at least they're moving.
Here's the progress I'm making on the Pyramids quilt.  I've got the second section quilted now, and I'm joining them on the back by hand.
This fabric on the back is kind of wild.  I didn't even think about trying to match up the print before, but it might have been a good idea.  Too late now.
Once I've got that seam done on the back, I'll quilt these rows in the middle.  Then I'll need to quilt the last section, and add it on.  When that's done, I'll be ready to quilt the borders.
Meanwhile, I'm still making rail fence blocks.  I've got the scrap rectangles laid out so I can see all the prints.  I'm trying not to be too "matchy-matchy" with them, but it's hard.  I want every block to be pretty.
As I finish them, I'm pinning them together in sets of ten so I can keep track of how many I have.
There are 100 blocks done so far!  Less than 50 to go.  I'll probably finish these today. 

I definitely cut too many pieces!  What on earth am I going to do with all these vintage rectangles?

Hmm.  I might have to start another quilt.

Wishing you more quilts this week, and always.

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Busy Hands Quilts this week.  I can't wait to sit down with a glass of iced tea and read all the other posts.