Sunday, March 26, 2017

Lurking in the Closet

I thought I had gone through all the quilts in my "waiting room" aka closet.  I had pulled out the easy ones, the baby quilts for charity and a couple of small quilts to keep, and got them done.  Alas, I found another one!  It was lurking in the closet.  (Did you think this title was about something else entirely???)
If you look to the far left of the photo, you can almost see it.
Here it is, one last baby quilt for charity from the stockpile.  The pattern comes from Jo Kramer of Jo's Country Junction, via the Moda Bake Shop.  Click HERE to go to the pattern.  Click HERE to go to Jo's daily blog.
I used the pattern as a starting point, but made my strips alternating red and blue.
Blurry picture alert!  This is a closeup of the fabric I used for the background.  It's these adorable little bears in boats and various nautical things.  The words say "first mate".
Here's the back, airplanes and stars instead of boats.
I hope this little quilt will be loved by a baby and his/her family soon.
I also hope this is actually the last one this time!  On to bigger quilts!

In other news, I made these little pincushions this week.  Those hsts are 1 in. finished (seriously).
The tiny half square triangles are made from "bonus triangles" created when making these blocks.  (More on the blocks next week.)  Normally, I'm not a bonus triangles kind of girl, but these were stacking up next to the machine while I worked, and one thing led to another.
Here's today's little stack.  They look big because they're in the foreground, but really, they are only 1.5 in. unfinished after they're sewn, pressed, and trimmed.
I'm not sure what I'll do with the rest of them.  Maybe more pincushions?  Or a doll quilt for poor old Dave?  (click HERE for Dave's story)

Here it is Sunday night, and I'm just now getting the blog post done.  I'm slow, but I get there in the end.  The main thing is to enjoy life along the way.

I hope you have lots to enjoy this week.
P.S.  I'm linking up with Myra at Busy Hands Quilts.  Come join in the fun!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Electric Joy with Tutorial

Good morning!  Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Isn't this a wild little quilt?  I'm calling it Electric Joy, because it's just exploding out in color.
I never would have made something like this years ago.  (Red binding on a purple border???)  I'm more of a classic quilts, reproduction fabrics quilter.  But I make bright baby quilts for donation, and I have lots of scraps.  I can't let them go to waste, can I?

Below is a tutorial, if you'd like to know how to make this quilt.
I use a lot of 2.5 in. strips in the kid quilts, and I seem to always have these little ends of strips.  If there is at least 2.5 in. left on a strip, I cut a square and put it in a box.  These are all pieces that are less than 2 in. wide, but about 2.5 in. long.
To make the main squares in this block, I sewed them into strips about 7 in. long.  I kept this handy ruler at the machine, and did multiple strips at a time.
Next step was pressing the strips, and trimming them to 2 in. wide by 6.5 in. long.
Like this!  It was sad to see some of my favorite fabrics trimmed almost to nothing at the ends.  I finally learned to put the best ones in the middle.
Next I added a bright triangle to each side of the strip.  I cut the triangles with the Easy Angle from 4.5 in. strips.  You could use charm squares, and just cut them in half.
I know this looks wrong, but don't worry.  This gets trimmed up to be a 4.5 in. square.
I trimmed first one side and then the other.  Each time, I placed the corner of the ruler as close to the center of the pieced strip as possible.
Second side being trimmed.
Voila.   Each block needs 4 of these squares.  You also need 4 shorter strips that go between the blocks.  These should measure 2 in. x 4.5 in. after trimming.  The center is a bright 2 in. square.

The blocks measure 10.5 in. finished.
Here's the back so you can see how I pressed it.
For the set, I used a solid yellow interspersed with 2 in. squares.  The yellow pieces were cut 2 in. x 4.5 in.  The squares were random bright colors.  In this photo I'm still missing a few yellow strips.
Here's a closeup of the finished quilt.  I quilted in the ditch, and quilted diagonal lines in all the squares.
Here's the back, a print of big strawberries.   Mmm, I can't wait for strawberry season!

I have to admit, the quilting on this is Not Great.  In fact, this quilt has more nips and tucks than an aging movie star.  I think the piecing was okay, especially since it was trimmed carefully.  It could have been my not-so-stellar basting.  Or the wiggly purple border fabric.  Or gremlins.

Either way, it's finished, and I like it.  This one isn't for donation, it's for us.
Somehow, there are still lots of scraps left in that basket.
Have a wonderful quilty week!

I'm linking up with Myra at Busy Hands Quilts and Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts this week. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Blazing Red

I belong in this bananas house today.  Not only is it usually bananas around here, but I bought a bargain package of said fruit and will be mashing and freezing and cooking them this afternoon.
As I'm sure you've already guessed, these are my red blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, which you can read about HERE.
I'm making two quilts.  The first one is a house quilt with 6 in. blocks, using lots of novelty prints.  I didn't think I had very many red ones.
I did manage to find bananas, hearts, and sewing patterns (the first group of 4), and pirates, sports, Hershey's kisses, and dogs.  Of course there had to be at least one dog house! They are still outnumbered by the cats though.
Snoopy counts as a dog, too, right?  Who knew Snoopy was a pirate?  I made a pillow case from this fabric for my oldest grandson years ago.  Pirate Snoopy is coming out the door here.
This was a happy accident!  See the "chimney"?  It's actually the word "Wisconsin".  The fabric celebrates Wisconsin basketball.  Don't tell my husband.  We're Indiana grads, and Wisconsin beat us (bad!) the other night.

My second quilt is a little calmer (more boring?)
These Buckeye Beauty blocks are made with 1930s reproduction fabrics and/or actual feed sack scraps.
I made 7 of them, but I think I might make one more.
Some of these prints have a little personality, like the ducks and geese in these 4 patches.
Or the dogs with umbrellas in this feed sack remnant.  The poodle has an umbrella, because it's raining cats and dogs.  Yea, more dog blocks!

This challenge is so much fun.  Thanks to soscrappy for making it possible!

In other news, I have been (finally!) quilting some of the smaller quilts I've made.
I'm doing this on my domestic machine.  Small quilts of course are not a big problem.
But I do have a secret weapon.
Here it is:
This came with my machine, a Pfaff Select.  The manual calls it a "quilting guide".
These have been around forever.  Some treadles came with them back in the old days.  Most modern walking feet have them.
It attaches to the machine, and is adjustable.  You just tighten the screw when it's the width you need.
I often use it for quilting borders.  It keeps me from having to draw lines or use masking tape, etc.
Currently, this is my favorite attachment.

All these quilts will be donated either to local charities like Project Linus or to Quilts for Kids.
I've got to go find some shipping boxes.  Oh, and take care of all those bananas.

Have a happy scrappy Saturday!

I'm linking up with today's post on SoScrappy.
Check out all the great red blocks! 

Friday, March 10, 2017

No kidding, these are done!

I wish I knew what had got hold of me these last couple of weeks.  Maybe it's spring cleaning fever.  That usually doesn't last too long!  Before it wears off, I at least got more baby quilts finished.
I was able to hang them outside Wednesday, but the wind was fierce.  The pattern for this one is called Just Because, and comes from Fons & Porter's Scrap Quilts magazine from Spring 2015.
Here's a photo of it inside, on the floor.
I had so much fun choosing the novelty prints for these blocks.
The back is just a floral from my stash.
Next up is a flannel quilt, made from tumbler shapes cut with the Accuquilt cutter.
Not too exciting, simply pieced and simply quilted.
The back is a wild flannel print.  This quilt won't be very useful until it gets extra cold again, but flannel is great in the winter.
Here's an easy one--an I Spy quilt made from a panel.  All I did was add the blue print border, and quilt and bind it.
I think this one will be lots of fun for a child and a sibling or parent.  The inner border lists things to find.  Some of them are very tricky.  I didn't find the basket of kittens until I was laying the quilt out today to take these pictures.
The back is an alphabet print, with toys sprinkled through.
Finally, this little triangles quilt is done.  I cut the pieces with the Accuquilt cutter, and everything seemed okay until I was adding the orange border.  The bottom row was off kilter, so I set it aside.   When I decided to finish all these little quilts, I pulled it out, and just took off the messed up row.
It's a good size now, and is full of bright prints.
The back is this adorable print with ducks and frogs and horses and alligators.

All these little quilts except the flannel quilt will go to Quilts for Kids, to brighten up hospital rooms and bring a little comfort to some sick kids.  The flannel quilt will go to Project Linus.

As if that wasn't enough to celebrate, my orchid started blooming!
First one bloom...
now TWO!

I really believe I am the luckiest person in the world.  I have a happy, healthy family, and time to quilt.

What brings you joy this week?
I'm linking up with some joyful linky parties at Crazy Mom Quilts and Busy Hands Quilts.  This post is also linking to Sew Some Love, a weekly posting at Kat & Cat quilts for charity quilts.
It's more fun if you join in!