Saturday, November 26, 2022

Four Patch Round and Round

Welcome to Treadlestitches!

Can you believe November is almost over?  This year is really flying by.  Today is the last Saturday of the month, so that means it's time for an antique quilt from my collection.

I don't have a pattern name for this one, as I couldn't find it in any of my books.  I just call it Four Patch Round and Round.  Technically it would be called a Medallion or Frame quilt.

It was made by an unknown quilter in the 1930s/1940s, and I bought it in an antique mall.  I love the scrappiness of it.  The center is made of 3 identical four patches, surrounded by a round of solid white, then a round of light blue 4 patches.  This was the only row she/he fully color coordinated.

The four patch blocks are 3 in. square finished, and the white rows are the same, except for the last white row, which is 4 in. finished.

All 4 corners on the last 4 patch row are pieced with black polka dot print, which adds a sort of framing effect.

The final border is made up of the same size squares alternating with red and white gingham.  Instead of a binding, the back has been brought over the front and stitched down neatly by machine.

There is a lot of quilting in this quilt!  Every little square has an X quilted through it.  The stitches are neat and average about 7-8 stitches per inch.

The quilting designs in the white rounds are pretty, but they are too sparse to completely keep the cotton batting from shifting where there are no stitches.  It's really not very noticeable, though.

Most of the prints are the usual florals, plaids, stripes, and dots.  This is the weirdest one.  I wonder if this kid is from the comics section in the newspaper??

I've often thought I'd like to make a similar quilt, maybe with bright fabrics.  It would even work for a Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt, with a different color in each round.  I might actually try this!

Not much sewing got done this week, but I am finally starting to set the 16 patch blocks into rows. 

It's been fun using up these multicolored prints.

I hope all of you who celebrated Thanksgiving had a good one.  One minor thing I'm thankful for is a freezer!  On Wednesday I thawed out all of this:  bread for stuffing, chicken broth for basting the turkey, and pumpkin and cherries for pies.  We are still eating pumpkin pie.  I might have had a piece for breakfast yesterday.  The joys of the season.

The thing I'm most thankful for, of course, is our wonderful silly family.  Little Buddy took this photo of his mom and aunt, my amazing daughters.

And here's Little Buddy himself, cuddled up with Snicklefritz, our new kitten.

The holiday craziness has started for real now.  We're going to try to take it slow, and enjoy it. 

I hope you have time for all the things you enjoy this week.

Thanks for reading,


I'm also thankful for Linky parties!  Check these out!

Alycia at Finished or Not Finished Friday

Angela at So Scrappy

Cynthia at Oh Scrap

Saturday, November 19, 2022

In Progress

 Welcome to Treadlestitches!

Nothing is finished this week, but there's plenty that isn't.  I'm quilting the first Razzle Dazzle quilt on my electric Pfaff, and it's coming along okay.  I'd like to get all my Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilts done by the end of the year.  I admit, it may not be realistic, but it's a goal to shoot for.

Here's another RSC project in progress, the 16 patch blocks made of multicolor prints plus a solid.  I'm sewing them into rows, and then into a twin sized top.  My treadle sits under the window in my sewing room.  I can see the driveway when I sew in the morning, so I know when my daughter arrives to drop off my littlest grandson for babysitting.

Besides the quilts in progress, I am also trying to better organize the sewing room.  Here's one of the reasons why:

This is just PART of what I bought at a quilt show rummage sale in early October.

Picture a regular sized classroom at the quilt show.  Three of the walls were lined with tables and there were double tables down the center of the room.  All of these tables were piled HIGH with fabric and there were overflowing boxes underneath.  Some of the larger pieces or kits were priced separately, at around $3 to $4 per yard.  All the rest, about 90% of the fabric in the room, was priced at $10 per grocery bag full.

I filled one whole bag with flannel, mostly large pieces for backing baby quilts but some cute smaller stuff for piecing tops.  I stuffed the other bag with cotton prints, plus a heavier print for a zipper bag and four or five full feed sacks.

Adding this to my haul from the rummage sale at the quilt museum in June, some of which is seen below: stuff I picked up at flea markets and antique stores through the year made reorganizing the fabric storage absolutely necessary.

I even got this wild print at the Quilt History retreat!

Like many quilters, I store my fabric both by color and size.  I have bins of quarter yards, half yards, and one yard pieces, and I was able to just squish the right size new stuff into those, but the bins in the closet hold the bigger yardage, and they were ridiculously full.  Expanding into bankers boxes helped. .

This bin of light fabrics is definitely overstuffed!  I need to use some of it up soon or change to a bigger box.

Light fabrics are ALWAYS on my list to search for at sales.  I always look for backing fabric, colors I'm out of or low on, and (of course!) novelty fabric for the kid quilts.

So the fabric is better organized now and it's easier to find what I need.  I also added a Some Assembly Required box for finished block sets, and another box for projects I want to finish by the Quilt-As-You-Go method.

Now to organize what I work on!  I bought a white board, and Hubby very kindly put it up for me above my cutting table.  So far, I'm really liking it.  I can keep track of deadlines etc., and the magnets will hold paper patterns while I'm cutting the pieces.

It's not perfect (yet?) but it's a good start.  A work in progress.

Last weekend we went to see a local theater performance of The Music Man, featuring our oldest grandson. It was so much fun!  He has three more performances this weekend.  Break a leg, G!

We got some real snow this week, but only about 2 inches total.  It's been cold, so it hasn't melted yet.  The big maple tree looks weird with both leaves and snow.

A new family member joined us on Thursday!  We adopted Snicklefritz from the Humane Society.  It's amazing how someone so tiny can turn everything totally upside down.  The grandkids love him, and so do we.  Our dog is putting up with him really well, thank goodness, but I'm already tired of a kitten waking me up to play at 5:30 in the morning! 

Next week, it's Thanksgiving!  We're hosting, as usual, and I'm doing as much cooking ahead as possible.  Next stop after that is Christmas!  Just thinking about it is making me tired.  It's a good day for a nap with a furry friend.

Have a lovely week, whatever it brings.

Thanks for reading,


Linking up with:

Alycia at Finished or Not Finished Friday

Angela at So Scrappy

Friday, November 11, 2022

It's That Time of the Year

Welcome to Treadlestitches! 

It's that time of year--time for finishing up the Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilts started back in January.  These two Razzle Dazzle tops are Not Finished, but they're ready for quilting.  Our weird weather this week had them flying in the breeze one evening after the kids went home.

Here's Razzle Dazzle #1 back in the house.  For eight months in 2022 I made a double row in the color of the month, which was about 36 in. wide and 12 in. top to bottom.  I knew from the start I would be making two quilts, but the question was which colors would go into each.  I didn't make a pink row (not enough pink scraps!) or a dark green row (same thing, not enough dark green).

My Little Guy was a very good helper today.  He's inspecting the seams here.  Hope I pass!  Razzle Dazzle #1 has the red, aqua, yellow, and dark blue rows.

This silly cat fabric is the simple border.  I was so glad to have enough of it left.

Razzle Dazzle #2 uses the orange, light blue, green, and purple rows, and has a striped border.

Since I hadn't decided which rows would be going together, I didn't plan where the individual triangles would fall.  I was lucky enough not to have too many of the same light pieces right next to each other.  Except of course for the music note print on the left.  And any others I haven't seen yet.

These are not my first zigzag Rainbow quilts, although I haven't made any in this exact pattern before.  Gotta say, I love a zigzag, however it's made.   Now I just have to quilt them!

These Christmas placemats are all that got quilted this week.  They're a project for the quilt group.  The organizers gave us Christmas fabric and challenged us to make something with it to donate.  I believe the placemats will go to Meals On Wheels, but don't quote me on that.

When I started these, I pulled out all the Christmas fabric and scraps I had.  It looked like a holiday explosion in my sewing room.  I ended up using leftover blocks and pieces, like the string blocks and the half square triangles in this one, along with some newer fabric in strips.

Years ago, I cut out too many of these red stars.  Now they can be useful.

I made this one first.  It's kind of a plain Jane.

This one is my favorite.  There's just such a lot going on!

There's been a lot going on with our weather this week!  We've had wind, a little rain, a 70 degree day yesterday, as shown above, and a high of 41 today.  About the only thing we haven't had is snow, and we may get a little of that tomorrow.

Happy Veteran's Day!

To all our veterans, thank you for all you've done for our country.

Each month, members of our quilt group make blocks using a pattern given to us by the powerful and benevolent Nancy, Queen of Scraps.  Usually we draw names of those who participated for a winner, but this time the pre-selected winner is a local group that makes quilts for veterans and their families.  I don't know the name of this 12 in. finished block, but it was very simple to make, and I'm happy to contribute to such a worthy cause.

So what have you been sewing?  I hope you have time this week to do something you really enjoy.

I look forward every week to checking out the linky parties and being amazed at all the wonderful quilts being made.  Come join us!

Thanks for reading,


Linking up with:

Alycia at Finished or Not Finished Friday

Angela at SoScrappy, Home of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge





Saturday, November 5, 2022

Little Bricks, Skinny Little Bricks, and Crayons

Welcome to Treadlestitches!

How is everything in your quilty world?

I am feeling like this little minion today!  I have finishes and an almost-finish to share!

First is this little 8 patch quilt I started back in the summer.  It's an idea I stole from Cathy at Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting.  (I get a lot of good ideas that way!  She's a scrap genius!  Thanks, Cathy!) 

The blocks are made of 8 rectangles that measure 2.5 in. x 3.5 in. cut.  These are the pieces I call Little Bricks, and I have a whole box of them.   I often cut them from the last bits of a 2.5 in. strip.

The block itself is 6 in. x 8 in. finished, which makes for some interesting math when figuring out the layout.  I set my 30 blocks 6 across and 5 down, which made the little quilt 36 in. x 40 in. before the border.

Here's the back, a kid print from the stash.  I honestly don't remember where it came from.  It might have been in the amazing basket my quilt group gave me.  It can be hard to use prints like this that have straight lines in them, but may not be printed exactly straight, and can look wonky.  However, they are perfect for backing.  All of these adorable kids are saying, "Let's play!"

On to Finish #2.

This is a Bright Hopes variation.  I started making these blocks to use up my stack of 2 in. x 3.5 in. rectangles (I call them Skinny Little Bricks.)

Each of the big blocks is made up of 4 smaller ones.  Each of the small blocks has a light 2 in. (cut) square center and 4 rectangles surrounding it, and finishes at 4.5 in.  After I had a lot of them made I started arranging them like this, putting pieces with the same color together to make a sort of pinwheel in the middle.  Sometimes the pinwheel is easy to see, sometimes there's not enough contrast.

The blocks are set with a narrow sashing and green print cornerstones.  I did very simple quilting (as usual) with the serpentine stitch on my machine.

The border is this odd print.  It looks like illustrations from a 1930s children's book.  I loved that it said "Sweet Dreams".  I said that to my kids when tucking them in at night, and back in the day my mother said it to me.

Simple quilting again.  For binding, I chose a blue/green from my solids stash.  The backing is this cozy flannel.  I love flannel on the back of a quilt.

When I go to sales or flea markets, etc., flannel is always something I look for.  This pile came from the sale room at a recent quilt show.  I piled it all in a grocery bag for $10.

I got this box of flannel at our guild's silent auction last month.  Solid colors are always useful, but the ducky prints are the best!

So on to the almost-finish.  Back in October, I was trying to put my Rainbow Scrap Challenge crayon quilt top together.  I had gotten this far, but it didn't look finished, and I really didn't know what to do.  

Some readers had really good suggestions.  I also asked a couple of other quilters at the retreat two weeks ago.  I ended up making a row of small crayons for the top (thanks, Bonnie Jensen!).  I also cut down the original borders so I'd have enough to use that colorful print on the sides as well.  And I had just barely enough of the print left for the top border.

Here's what it looks like now.  It's definitely unusual, but it feels more balanced to me.  And bonus, it's now a rectangle, measuring 53 in. x 55 in.   I'll bind with a solid color after I quilt it.

The small crayon row is very similar to the big crayons.  I used the Tri-Recs tools to make the points and rectangles to make up the rest of the crayon.

I might make a whole quilt from these little crayons someday.  They're easy and fun to make.

We like to have fun around here!  My Little Guy is in charge of licking the beaters when I make icing.  He takes his job very seriously.

When we get our chores done, we can play with toy dinosaurs stomping in play dough.  

I hope you're having fun this week.  Treat yourself to a good time!

Thanks for reading,


Linking up with:

Alycia at Finished or Not Finished Friday

Angela at So Scrappy

Cynthia at Oh Scrap