Friday, June 23, 2017

A Little Quilt

I finished a quilt this week.  In only 2 days, it was pieced, layered, quilted, and bound.  That's because it was a Little Quilt.
Were you quilting in the 1980s or 1990s?  If so, you probably remember Little Quilts.  They were a wonderful craze.  These adorable wall quilts were made from scraps and mostly quilted by hand.  You had all the fun of making a quilt and it was done before you knew it.
My newest Little Quilt started right here, when I got home from the annual rummage sale at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts and dumped all the great stuff I bought out on the kitchen table.
I could hardly wait to get it out of the bags so I could look at it.  And pet it.  And arrange it in a rainbow of color.  I felt like whirling around with excitement.
Take a look at the center foreground of the photo above.  If you are very sharp-eyed, you might see a small stack of house blocks.  The blocks measure only 5 in. finished.  There were 7 of these completed, plus several sections just needing to be joined.
So I joined them.  I only had to make 2 roof sections from my scraps, and 12 blocks were done.  I set them with light fabric cut from a remnant, and added cornerstones from my cut strips.  The red gingham border is a scrap I bought at the quilt show in May, and the outside corners and binding are also from my cut strips.
The quilting is very simple, mostly in the ditch.  All the houses are outlined.
The backing was a scrap in the pile called "Going to the Basement".  One less thing to take down there.

Little Quilts are still around, and you can still buy the books!  Click HERE to go to the web page.  They even have a newsletter.
In other news, I finished all the blocks for my triangles quilt this morning.  There are 99 of them.  You need a lot when the block is only 6 in. finished.
These were fun to make.  Some of my "new" scraps from the rummage sale went right into these blocks.
Here's what else I did this morning--strawberry jam!  I picked strawberries yesterday at a local You Pick farm.  It rained off and on, but that didn't stop anybody.  Gather ye berries while ye may.
As I was picking and enjoying the snick of pulling a ripe strawberry from the vine, there were lots of other sounds around me.  Children's voices were my favorite.  One little girl seemed very concerned about the dirt, and reminded her mother to wash the berries when they got home.  Another announced "It's Raining Time!"  when it started to sprinkle.  A little boy asked if he could pick the "baby" berries.  There were even a couple of conversations in languages I didn't know.
It has been at least 50 years since I started going to the strawberry patch with my mom and grandparents.  I plan to keep going as long as I can.

I always try to enjoy the little things in life.  And the best little things are quilts!
Wishing you joy this week and always,
Sylvia@Treadlestitches
As usual, I'm linking up with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts and Myra at Busy Hands Quilts.
Come join us!












Friday, June 16, 2017

Red Clover Do Over

After more than two years, I finally finished this top!  (And look, artistic outdoor photos!  Well, sort of.)
Being red and green, it makes us think of Christmas, but I was more inspired by antique quilts than by the holidays.
Red and green is a classic combination, and there are lots of great books about red and green quilts.  Most of the quilts in the books are appliqued, however.
I took the pattern for this quilt from an antique quilt, and changed it to suit myself.  Click HERE to go to the original article and the pattern.  I called my version Red Clover.
When I last posted about this quilt (in 2015!), I thought I was almost done making the top.  The blocks were made, the sashings were made, I just needed to make the cornerstones and put it all together.
Sadly, that didn't go so well.
It's my own fault.  The blocks were drafted to be 12 in. finished.  I didn't MEASURE them, I just ASSUMED they were right.  And we all know what happens when you assume.  Somehow I was about .25 of an inch off, probably from slightly too-large seam allowances.
I was trying to hurry through the process.  When the long strips of sashings didn't fit, I just kept going, even when I got tucks.  Tucks!!
Sanity finally returned, and I saw what I had done.  Kind of like Dr. Jekyll waking up from being Mr. Hyde.  The whole thing was depressing, so I just folded it all up and stored it in the closet.
About two months ago, I got the project out, and took my trusty seam ripper in hand.  I ripped the sashings out while watching TV.  This week I trimmed them to size, and put the top together.
So it's done!  Now on to the quilting.

In other news, the garden is loving the hot weather and the thunderstorms we've been having lately.
The basil and strawberries are doing well.
And the sage is blooming.  I love purple!

Have a wonderful week, doing the things you love.
Cheers,
Sylvia

I'm linking up as usual with Crazy Mom Quilts and Busy Hands Quilts.  Check out all the great blogs!









Friday, June 9, 2017

All Kinds of Yellow

June is yellow month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I have all my blocks done!  I don't usually manage to do these so early in the month.
First, the houses.
Here's a cheery little cherry house, must be in Door County.  I had enough Badger fabric left for the sky.
This one is a quilter's house.  For some reason, there is a duckie in the doorway.
Butterflies and whales live here.  Not sure how, but that's their problem.
Every neighborhood has to have that wild and crazy house.
This house is made of honey.  A bear scout is apparently watching over it from the roof.
Let me tell you 'bout the birds and the bees...the bee house, that is, with birds on the roof and butterflies in the sky and on the door.
And lastly, more bugs!  Happy, smiling bugs!  NOT the kind that lurk under the sink.

I am loving this project more every month!
I do confess to being sad when I run out of a particular fabric.  Oh, well, they'll make more.

Here are this month's Buckeye Beauty blocks:
Four together...
and four more.  I actually could set them like this.  Hmmm...
Most of these blocks were made from 1930s reproduction fabrics, like the one above.
This super-pale block is made from yellow feedsacks.
And this block is a hybrid--feedsack for the triangles and repro for the squares.

Many, many thanks to the soscrappy blog for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and all the fun we're having.

In other news, I've managed to get some gardening done on days my baby grandson is not here.
There are tomato and kale plants in pots on the porch.  Do you see the fabric strip?  I've tied the tomato plant to the wire cage with a strip from a rag.  My grandmother used to do it this way.  I always feel close to her when I work in the garden.
Have a wonderful, quilt-filled week!
Cheers,
Sylvia@Treadlestitches

I'm linking up with Myra at Busy Hands Quilts and Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.  Join the party!

















Friday, June 2, 2017

Summer Stars

It's summer in southeastern Wisconsin.  Winters here are long, but the beautiful summer tries hard to make up for it.  This is our lilac bush, out by the driveway.  (The blossoms look white here, but they are light, well, lilac-colored.)
This week I've been spending some time sitting at the kitchen table, binding my Summer Stars quilt.  Most of the week was sunny, and I even had the windows open in the afternoon.
I finished the binding around midnight last night, just couldn't stop til it was finally done.  I blogged about this quilt back in April (see post HERE) when I was quilting it.  As usual, I pieced it on my Singer treadle and quilted it, in two sections, on my electric Pfaff.
The star points were leftovers from the first mystery quilt I ever did online--Bonnie Hunter's Celtic Solstice.  These points were meant for the pieced border, but I changed the size of the quilt AND ran out of orange, so that left these pieces without a home.
I made them into stars with some hsts, added the alternate blocks, and finished with a three strip border and 6 in. stars in the corners.
The alternate blocks were made with a light fabric I bought more than 10 years ago, and a more recent repro I bought yards of on sale.  There's not much left of it now, I have loved it so much.
It's hard to see in the upper photo, but this one shows the quilting in the plain blocks better, mainly because you can still see the pencil marks.
It's not a big quilt, not even a regular twin size, but it is big enough to curl up under.
Here it is in my husband's office.  He's a retired chemist, hence the microscopes.
The quilt is done, we're back to gardening again, and I'm happy dancing all over the house.  I'm using the rain barrel to water the plants, and still admiring the design painted on it by a local high school student.
I think it's going to be a good year for raspberries!  Like all other gardeners, I live on hope.
I'm wishing hope and happiness for all this week.
Cheers,
Sylvia@Treadlestitches

Don't forget the linky party at Crazy Mom Quilts!













Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Taming of the Scraps

I love scrap quilts.  In fact, I just plain love scraps.   I love them so much that I actually buy other people's scraps.
For example, here's a bag I bought at a recent quilt show.  As you can see, it cost a whole $2.00.
This is what it looked like, dumped out on the floor.
Then I laid out the pieces...
and gloated over all the great stuff in here.  I might be a little cracked when it comes to scraps.

There's only one problem with accumulating scraps.  Somehow or another they have to go from this
to quilts.  They have to be tamed, and shaped into parts to be further cut and sewn.
So that's what I've been doing this week.
I started by straightening up a bit, and doing a little organizing by categories.  For instance, I sorted them into bright colored scraps, the reproduction 1930s, the 1800s repros, the plaids, etc.
Then I put a subset of the scraps into a small basket.  Whenever I had time, I pressed and cut what was in the basket, until it was empty.  I started with bright colors.  Shown above are the plaids, which I will work on this coming week.
I've tried other systems, like working for 15 min. at a time, etc., but this seemed to work better for me.
Here's what I got done:
These are strips ranging from 5 in. wide on the left to 1.5 in. wide on the far right.  In between are 4.5 in., 3.5 in., and 2 in.
So where are the 2.5 in. strips?
Here they are, two big stacks.  Another bag I bought at the quilt show was full of 3 in. cut strips.  I trimmed those down to 2.5 because I know I'll use them if they're that size.
I almost filled up a shoebox.
When I'm cutting strips, I also cut squares if the scraps are small.  These are 5 in., 4.5 in., 3.5 in., 2.5 in., and 2 in.  The rectangles are 2.5 x 4.5.  I've got a project in mind for them.
So now I've got parts to sew with, and this is what I'm doing with some of them.  There are pieces here of 3 different quilts.
Now I need a strategy for focusing on my projects.  Any suggestions?
Have a great week, everybody.
I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Busy Hands Quilts this week.