Saturday, August 12, 2017

Kids, Books, Scraps, and Quilts

It's a scraptastic Saturday around here, and I've got my blocks done for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this month.  August's color is neutral.  Hmm, can I do neutral? 
Neutral is tough with novelty fabrics, so I decided to go for fabrics with light backgrounds.  Here's my strawberry house.   Mmm, strawberries.
This one is nice and weird.  The main fabric is printed with bandaids, and for some reason there are bugs on the bandaids.  So the door has a bug, too.
Here's a house for me.  Save our flowers, save our pets, save our trees, save our planet!
A dotty house, sugary sweet with smiling flowers in the sky.
Three Pooh bears are peeking out of this house.  From the tropical sea shell print on the roof, we can see that the Poohs have left foggy England behind for sunny Florida.  They do need to work on their spelling.
And lastly, the orange house, probably also in Florida.  Or maybe California.
I decided the neutral theme really wouldn't fit with the Buckeye Beauty blocks, so I'm skipping those this month.
Making blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is the most fun I've ever had doing homework.

This homework comes in a close second--my blocks for the Children's Library Quilt, hosted by Pat Sloan.
The official block for August is this one.  I can't stop using Dr. Seuss fabric!  I got these scraps at the rummage sale at the quilt museum in June.  There's Clifford fabric in there, too.
I'm making 12 blocks for my Children's Library Quilt, instead of the 9 Pat is giving us, so I've been finding blocks elsewhere and using the book character fabrics to sew them up.  This block is modified from Cross Keys by Gina Gempesaw, block #573 in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, vol. 6.
I changed the center to a solid square, and put the Very Hungry Caterpillar in there.

Lately I've been doing more quilting, as well as piecing.  Here's something I actually finished.
It's a baby quilt, made of flannel, for charity.
I tried to get my youngest grandson to post with it, but he was just too busy.
He did curl up with it later on the floor.  Tired, but fighting sleep.
I washed the quilt after he went home, and it's even more cuddly now.
Clean and soft, and ready to go to a new home.

I am so lucky!  I get to enjoy the things I love most every week--kids, books, scraps, and quilts.
How was your week?
Join me at the linky parties at Busy Hands Quilts and So Scrappy.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Waves, Soap, and Duckies

Happy Friday!  It's gloomy, rainy, and cool here (50s!  In August??) but a good day for quilting.  Heck, every day is a good day for quilting!  My almost-finish for this week is a give-away quilt.
You might recognize the shapes.  They're tumblers, cut with the Accuquilt cutter by one of our members.  There were 48 of the duckie tumblers cut when I got them.  I tried to figure out a layout that would use all of them.  In the end, I needed 49, so the center tumbler was a different duckie print, cut from some of my wonderful novelty fabric.

I added solid fabrics from my stash, and this daisy print for the backing.  The daisy print was originally bought to go with another quilt, but it works okay with this one.
Mr. Biddy is supervising here.  He went to the vet yesterday, and they think he's doing pretty good for being a 15 year old cat.
You've seen the duckies.  Here's where the waves and soap come in.
I am a walking-foot quilter.  The walking foot on my Pfaaf is built in, which is great.  Most of this tumbler quilt was quilted about 1/4 in. from each seam, but I got a little fancy in the outer border with these waves.  It's one of my favorite stencils, and this time I used soap to mark the lines.
I've used soap to mark other quilts, but I didn't think it would work on stencils.  After all, soap is wide, and you have to mark through a fairly narrow channel.  I tried it, just for giggles, and found that the plastic edges of the channels cut through the soap enough to leave quite nice marks.
Warning--it does have the same major drawback as chalk.  The marks will easily wear off if you touch them while quilting.  To counter this, I marked one border at a time (these aren't continuous), and tried to hold the quilt by the outer edges as I quilted, grasping mostly the batting and backing.
Here's what it looks like quilted.  I never try to make these waves turn the corners, I just run the lines to the edge of the quilt or start/stop at the corner seams.
Isn't this a happy print?  Our quilt group regularly donates quilts to a local charity that helps homeless families find apartments.  This quilt will go to a child who needs it.
Now all I have to do is bind it!
Here's what's on my makeshift design wall this week.  I started these blocks about a year ago, and made 42 of the small ones.  But look what happens when you put 4 together!  So far, I am loving it.  I have to make LOTS more blocks, which is what I'm sewing on my treadle in the top photo.  I'm also using my 1930s and 1940s scraps to good purpose.
What are you working on this week?  Why not join me at the linky party at Busy Hands Quilts?   It's always a good time.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Red Red Binding

I've got a reggae song going through my head this week.  This could be why.
Red Red Binding!  I'm singing it to the tune of Red Red Wine by UB40.  Wonder how it happens that everything I'm working on lately has a red binding?
Since this is my first post in 3 weeks, I should have 3 finished quilts to show. Luckily, I do!

The first is my Ocean Waves quilt, which I am embarrassed to say I pieced way back in 2012.  Above is a photo of the top.
And here's the finish!  My friend Joey did the quilting, or it would probably still be in the closet.
Can you see the wonderful fan quilting she did on it?  Exactly right for this time period reproduction quilt.
Instead of a label, I just wrote directly on the back with a Pigma pen.
I am so amazing grateful for Joey's expertise.  God bless the longarm quilters!
When Joey was here recently for a weekend, I was working on this quilt for charity.  It's the latest from American Patchwork & Quilting magazine's Sew Giving column, and was designed by Jo Kramer and her daughter Kelli Hanken of Jo's Country Junction.  (Great daily blog, BTW.)  The name of this quilt is Make the Connection, and the pattern is in the August 2017 edition of the magazine.  I changed it a little, of course.  I just can't help it.
In the original, the design sort of steps down across the quilt.  I made mine step down to the center, and then back up again.  I also used light blue solid instead of dark blue.
It is so great to find batting, backing, and binding waiting in the stash.  And to use them up!
The last quilt with red binding is my Red Clover quilt.  I finished the top in June, and it's actually already quilted.  This must be a record for me, as I'm normally a prize procrastinator.
It helps that this was a small quilt, and I did really simple quilting on it.
Backing, batting, and binding were all in the stash.
Now I'd like to introduce you to my new sewing room helper.
Ta-da!  My new old iron.  Joey and I went to Goodwill when she was here, and I scored this old black beauty for $9.00.  There is a setting for permanent press, so you know it's been around a long time.
She's made in the USA (!) and honestly is the best iron I've had in 30 years.  My favorite feature?  NO AUTOMATIC SHUTOFF!!!  She also gets so hot I don't need steam.  And I can turn her off without unplugging her.  I only hope she lasts awhile.
Can you believe it's almost August?  Summer will soon be over!  Ackkk!  I still have a lot of summer
stuff I want to do!  So I'd better get after it.
Have a wonderful week!
I'm linking up with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts, and with Myra at Busy Hands Quilts.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Block Busters!

Hurray for July!  Isn't this year going by quickly?  I was in Oklahoma visiting my mom on July 1st.  I just had to borrow her computer to find out what the new color of the month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge was!  Couldn't wait til I could get home to my stash and get started.
As you can see I've been piecing away the hot days.
The Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for July is blue, and these above are my Buckeye Beauty blocks.  Four of them are made from real vintage feedsacks, and four of them are made from 1930s reproduction fabrics.
This one is cut from feedsacks ...
and this one is repros.  Gotta love the chicken print in the four patches.
Now for the houses!  I really got carried away this month.  I just have so many blue scraps!  In the center of this photo is my favorite, a bookworm house.  I'm sure you can't see it, but the little bookworm is holding up a sign that says "Let's Read!"  Thus warming this librarian's heart.
It's always Halloween at this house, with characters from It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
This one was pieced on the 4th of July.  Happy Birthday, U.S.A.!
Parrots on the roof?  The address here must be Margaritaville.
Star Wars house, for two of my grandchildren who are HUGE fans.
Sharks!  Don't even think about ringing the doorbell!
Golf club house in the center.  I don't golf, but I had the fabric.
Trains live here, even though it's not a roundhouse.
Of course there's a doghouse.  And paw prints in the sky.
Duckies!  Once upon a time, duckies were my grandson Henry's favorite thing in the world.
Another orange door, to go with this dotty house.  Did you catch the bookworms on the roof?
Fish, and a fire engine.  The letter of the day must be F.
I actually made TWELVE houses this month.  I just couldn't stop.  Maybe this is getting out of control.
Okay, one last block.
This is the June block for Pat Sloan's Children's Library Quilt.  (If you scroll down after you click the link, you can get to the earlier blocks.)  I changed the block slightly, by replacing the center 4 patch with a 4.5 in. square. 
What should be at the center of any children's library?  Children!  My center square is a print with lots of cute kids.
Also, this happened.
The raspberries are ripe!  I'm picking about a quart a day of the red, and half that of the black.
Summer is so delicious.
Time for a glass of iced tea and a good book.
Have a wonderful week!
I'm linking up with Myra at Busy Hands Quilts (check it out, she has a scrap give-away this week!) and Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.