Saturday, May 21, 2022

Green Frogs, Razzle Dazzle, and Rectangles

 Welcome to Treadlestitches!

Green scraps are still getting sewn up for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month.  I don't have the recommended forest or sage green, so I'm just using the greens I have.  And as you can see, most of my scraps are bright novelty prints.  (Does ZAB jump out at you from this photo?  It's part of an alphabet print.  Weird stuff happens when you cut up fabric!)

Here's the whole row, my version of Razzle Dazzle, one of my RSC projects.  (Click HERE for my first post on this pattern.)  It's actually two rows, but you need both to make the design work.

The yellow row from March was a help when I started putting the green row together.  I had kind of forgotten how I was arranging things, since I didn't make a pink row for April's color of the month.  I had to lay them out to preview what the quilt might look like.

The ends of the rows are just sliced off to make a straight edge.  No complicated math for me, thanks!

Check out this happy little frog!  He's in two of the triangles, one right side up and one upside down.  (I didn't mean to put them so close together, how did that happen?)  I have a real thing for happy frog prints.

No time for actual quilting this week, but I had a deadline for this little quilt, so at least the top got pieced.

And guess what showed up on the border!  Happy green frogs!  I'll show this quilt properly once it's quilted.

As always, when I'm piecing I need to have a leaders and enders project.  That's what the set on the left is, 72 little 4.5 in. finished blocks, clipped in sets of 10.  I sew these pieces in between the main project, which is really necessary with the Razzle Dazzle triangles.  But what do you do when you get all the leaders and enders blocks done?  

Start another project, of course!

Last Wednesday, quilt author Judy Gauthier gave a presentation at our guild.  I already had all her current books (there is a new one coming out soon!), and it really energized me to look through the books again, and put sticky notes on designs I want to try right away.

Why not try one right now, when I need a new leader and ender project?  And this block even uses the same size rectangles that were already at the machine. The quilt is called Rectangles Squared, and is in the book Rainbow Quilts for Scrap Lovers.  Very easy piecing, and looks good in bright colors.

So I'm set for piecing for a while, but Mrs. Pfaff and I really need to get busy on the quilting. 

I was out of town part of this week, and sort of discombobulated after we got back (what with laundry, etc.).  Somehow, I neglected to get any photos of the kids!  So here's one of all my grandchildren, at Easter.  (Yes, we had to wear winter coats for the Easter egg hunt, but it was worth it!)

We've put the coats away now, and should have warm spring weather the rest of the week.

I hope you have a lovely week, whatever the weather.

Cheers for reading,


Linking up with:

Alycia at Finished or Not Finished Friday

Angela at So Scrappy

Cynthia at Oh Scrap


Friday, May 13, 2022

Lions and Cows and Little Bricks, Oh My

 Welcome to Treadlestitches!

More blocks in GREEN for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month!  These are my split nine patches, made up mostly from my 3.5 in. squares and triangles box.

I'm not sure who thought of creating a print with green lions, but he's kind of handsome.

This block has the usual chaos, like Lucy from Peanuts golfing, crayons, turtles, cars, and praying mantises.

Cows on a green background in the top row center.  I only bought a half yard of it, but it keeps ending up in everything.

Favorite block!  Such a happy green cow.  Plus a green tiger.  Not stuff you see every day.

I only had to cut two light triangles for these blocks, the rest came already cut from the box.  So I am using up some of my scraps!  Even though I'll definitely make more as I cut out other quilts.  That's the quilting life, isn't it?

So green blocks done, more little bricks fun.

Here's another quilt made with 2.5 in. x 3.5 in. rectangles, the ones I call little bricks.  It's going to Hands 2 Help.  (Click HERE for more on Hands 2 Help.)

As usual, it's a really simple block.  Back in January of 2013 (my first month of blogging, BTW), I made a quilt like this from a photo somewhere on the internet.  In my post I called it Jelly Roll Bricks and gave my directions for it.

A few years later, I bought this book at a used book store, and the pattern was in there.  (Now that I know where it came from, I will be taking my post down.)  The book is Jelly Roll Quilts, by Pam & Nicky Lintott.  I really love their books!  Lots of good ideas and clear directions.

Their version is called Sparkling Gemstones, and uses all Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  Theirs is strip pieced, but I prefer just cutting the pieces separately.  To each her own.

Either way you sew it, it's a great design to use up just about any color of bricks, including multi-color.

Check out the border!  It's Fischer Price fabric!  I got a large piece of it at the guild's silent auction earlier this year.  At one point, we had all the toys pictured in the print--the popper, the xylophone, the dog pull toy, the stacking rings (not seen in this photo) and the telephone.

The only one we still have is the telephone.

Our grand children have never used a dial phone.  I don't think they've ever even seen a real one.  We've told our Little Guy that this is a kid version of a telephone, but I'm not sure he believes us.  It doesn't look anything like his mommy's phone.  Phones have changed so much!  He still likes to play with it, maybe because it makes noise.

Nature is waking up from her winter nap all around us.  This tree is in the parking lot of the grocery store, sharing its beauty with everyone who passes by.

Little Guy is having so much fun picking dandelions and playing in the park.  The weather this week has been amazing.

I hope you've had an amazing week, whatever the weather.  Take care, and happy sewing!

Thanks for reading,


Linking up with:

Alycia at Finished or Not Finished Friday

Angela at So Scrappy

Cynthia at Oh Scrap 


Saturday, May 7, 2022

Greening Up

 Welcome to Treadlestitches!

It's green month, at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Time to sew up our green scraps!  Specifically, May is sage and/or forest green month, but I sadly don't have enough green scraps for two months, so all the green is getting thrown in together.

I have a scrap-reducing goal here.  I'm trying to use up some of the many multi-color prints in the 2.5 in. strip drawer.  This project pairs them with solid colors.  One of the solids is a sage-y green, the other is brighter.  The pattern comes from a tutorial written by Cynthia of Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework, it's fast and easy.  (Click HERE.)  Strip piecing with virtually no waste and only 5 seams in each block, no kidding.  Each block uses half of a full strip from each fabric.  BTW, you should also check out the rest of her Scrap-A-Palooza series, great ideas and free!  There's a tab at the top of her homepage (Click HERE.)

Here's another long tall crayon, green this time.  It's been fun finding 18 different prints for the pieces.

Halloween, monkeys, paisley, even watermelons.  And so many different shades of green.

Nature is also showing us many shades of green, even here in Wisconsin.  The rhubarb has been growing fast lately, due to all the rain we've had.

Some new house plants followed me home from the grocery store.  That's a Gerbera daisy in front, parsley on the back left and basil on the right.  I like having herbs handy for cooking.  We have a small herb garden next to the garage with chives, sage, oregano, and spearmint.

Good news:  Mrs. Pfaff came back from the repair shop, ready for action!  We got to work right away, quilting two small tops the ladies at the quilt guild had made for charity.

Blue and white always makes a pretty quilt!  I think this is a Disappearing Four Patch, although some of the blocks are a little different.

Just straight line quilting in white thread.  The quilt is 40 in. square.

Another quilt, also 40 in., in another winning color scheme, red, white, and blue.  Some of the pieces look pink from a distance, but it's really a red and white gingham.  The light print is patriotic hearts.

It's an unusual pattern, I don't think I've seen it before.  Again, just straight (or mostly straight!) quilting following the seams.

 So some of my to-do pile has moved to the "tuh-done" pile!

Check out this cheeky monkey!  My Little Guy has seen the dog lying on the back of the couch, looking out the window at the birds and squirrels, so he decided to try it.  And then gave me a look like that!  He's definitely two, oh dear.

He's fascinated with numbers right now, even at the playground.  Maybe he'll be good at math as he gets older.  I could use a helper.

Here's hoping we all have a good week ahead, with time for quilting and sewing, and for being with the ones you love.

Thanks for reading,


P.S.  Happy Mothers' Day, to all who celebrate!

Linking up with:

Alycia at Finished or Not Finished Friday

Angela at So Scrappy

Cynthia at Oh Scrap 


Saturday, April 30, 2022

Something Old, Something New

Welcome to Treadlestitches!  It's the last Saturday of the month, and time for airing some quilts from my collection.

It's a pink parade for April, which has been pink month at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I'm not really pink's biggest fan, so I don't make or buy a lot of pink quilts, but these called me to take them home.  Sadly I have no information on the original makers of any of these quilts.

Doll quilts always catch my eye.  If in perfect condition, they can cost a fortune.  But if it's in perfect condition, doesn't that mean a child never played with it?  Very sad.  The ones I buy are well loved.

This little one is kind of wonky.  Maybe a child made it?  Or a mama in a hurry?  All the work is by machine, including the quilting and binding.  It's hard to date quilts with only solid color fabrics, but I'm guessing around 1900, give or take 10 years in either direction.

Next up, a quilt that's both old and new.  I bought the blocks in an antique mall, and set them together with plain white and reproduction fabrics.

Even though pink is not my favorite color, these little blocks just insisted on coming home with me.  My guess on an age for them is circa 1930. 

I was apparently too lazy to make a label, but at least I wrote some information in the border.  Good heavens, I finished this 18 years ago this month!

Have you ever seen a quilt like this before?  Hundreds of quilts were made from this pattern, published in newspapers in the 1930s.  It's called The Alphabet Quilt, and the designer was Florence La Ganke Harris, who wrote under the pseudonym of Nancy Page.  

This is the announcement of the series from the newspaper.  Some of the papers ran contests for completed series quilts.

The Nancy Page column published a quilt block each week in the late 1920s through the 1930s, with the fictional Nancy advising her quilt club on how to make that particular block.  For the series quilts, Ms. La Ganke sometimes changed the format.  The Alphabet Quilt is being made by "Aunt Mary" for her young niece Joan, and Mary is sharing her progress with her friends.

Here is one of the newspaper patterns.  Quilters often cut them out and saved them, maybe planning to make the quilt someday.  (I can definitely relate to that!)

Most of the blocks in the quilt are simple applique, meant to be familiar to a child.  The last block is very unusual.  Ms. La Ganke gave quilters a choice.  They could either embroider X Y Z to finish the alphabet or they could do as this quilter did, and embroider the word YOU to make it a signature square.  (Either way, they would have 24 squares instead of 26, and could put it together 4 blocks by 6 blocks.)

This is the reason I bought these blocks on Ebay many years ago.  The maker has embroidered the name of the intended recipient, Billy Shannon, on the left, plus Mama and 1931.  In pencil she has written the word "from" just before Mama.  I felt like this project needed to be completed.

When this came to me, it was a UFO from at least 70 years ago.  All the blocks were done, and the pink frames had been added.  (Pink was not considered an exclusively girl color in the past.) 

I'm sorry that Billy Shannon never got his quilt.  I finished the blocks with vintage fabric, including the backing and binding, and did some simple quilting.  If I had any idea who the family was, I would pass it on to them.

Florence La Ganke designed many other series quilts, among them the Magic Vine, which was redone by Eleanor Burns a few years ago.  Patterns for these quilts and/or copies of the originals can be obtained from online sellers.  Check out this article on Nancy Page (Click HERE) by Wilene Smith for more information on Ms. La Ganke herself.

And now for something completely different.

I love to catch my young grandsons playing together peacefully.  It's not always like this! But they really do love each other.

In the week ahead, I'm wishing you peace and love.  And happy quilting!

Thanks for reading,


Linking up with:

Angela at So Scrappy

Alycia at Finished or Not Finished Friday

Cynthia at Oh Scrap