Saturday, November 27, 2021

Happy Blocks, Happy Quilts, Happy Holidays!

 Welcome to Treadlestitches!

Happy Blocks, made this year for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, are getting finished into Happy Quilts!  These 3 will be donated to Project Linus.

It's such a simple block, and so much fun to make, especially with novelty print squares in the middle.  Click HERE for a link to a really good tutorial on how to make them from

The blocks measure 8 in. finished, so 30 of them set 5 x 6 side by side makes a quilt 40 in. x 48 in.

The back of Quilt #1 is the rest of a bug print I've used on another baby quilt.  Quilts #1 and #3 are what I call anybody quilts, meaning they're not gender specific.

Happy Quilt #2 will probably be given to a girl because of all the pink in it.

Hope she likes cats.  And purple monkeys!

To make the backing big enough, I put a strip of charm squares down the middle.

Lastly, Quilt #3.

Alphabet print on the back.

So many fun prints here!  Race cars, dogs, tractors, trains, and of course dinosaurs.

Speaking of dinosaurs, don't look now, Pilgrim dolls, you're about to be the main course!  I found this photo on my camera this morning.  Little Buddy and his cousin Miss E. were having fun with it on Thanksgiving.  We had such a good visit with all the kids and grandkids this year.  That's what I'm most thankful for.

I also love having time to sew!  Every year, I spend Black Friday and the rest of Thanksgiving weekend in the sewing room, catching up on projects.  Yesterday I made the treadle wheels spin!  The project on the wall behind the treadle is called Two-Step, and was designed by Amanda Jean Nyberg, formerly of the crazy mom blog.  It comes from this book:  Scrap School:  12 All-New Designs From Amazing Quilters.

Scrap School: 12 All-New Designs from Amazing Quilters

Jo Kramer of the blog Jo's Country Junction posted about making this design, and got me interested.  I already had the book and most of the 2.5 in. squares ready to go.  I'm piecing mine in columns rather than rows.

I finally finished the blocks for my 2020 diary/calendar quilt!  Why on earth did I pick 2020 as the year to do this?  It was hard to keep up enthusiasm for it during the lockdowns, etc.  But there were good things that happened in 2020 too, like the birth of my Baby Buddy, so I pushed through and got the blocks done, about a year late.

The strips for the calendar quilt came from this little suitcase.  Why is it still just as full as it was before?  The mystery of scraps.

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, the holiday season has begun for real.  I'm wishing the joy of this time of year for all who celebrate.  Happy Holidays!  As for me, I'm thinking about another slice of pumpkin pie.

Cheers for reading,


Linking up with:

Angela at SoScrappy, Home of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Cynthia at Oh Scrap

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Anything Goes

 Welcome to Treadlestitches!

If you've been here before, you may know that I love scrap quilts.  They are really the only kind I want to make.  I made the quilt in the photo above in 2013. When I start working on one, I choose the fabrics from my bountiful stash.  I can be very persnickety about it.  The fabrics have to belong together, either because of color (brights, fall colors, etc.) time period (reproductions of 1800s or 1930s fabrics), or theme (novelty, patriotic, etc.).  I have often said I can't do random.  Randomly choosing fabrics for quilts?  It makes my stomach hurt. 

But I often love quilts made this way!  I had the privilege of binding this quilt for our guild's charity work.  As you can see, it's a 4 patch, separated by alternate blocks.  And there is EVERYTHING in here.

Solids, reproductions, 1980s florals, tone-on-tone, Christmas fabric, it is all here.

Adorable penguins, ice skating!

And of course Elvis.  Because, why not?

I really like this quilt, and I am sure the recipient will like it, too.  There is so much to look at and enjoy!  Maybe some day I'll be able to let loose a little more and make one myself.

My Baby Buddy enjoyed looking at both quilts I was working on this week,

but he loved this little one, made by Chris.

These are some happy sea creatures!  Chris only had a scrap of this fabric, but she matched it perfectly and seamed it together.

Then she made these cute machine appliques!  Baby Buddy loved running his fingers over them.  I quilted and bound the quilt, and it will go to a new home either with Jack's Basket or Project Linus.

In other news, we had a day off yesterday and went antiquing.  Can you find the treadle sewing machine in this photo?  It's a nice old Singer, with the decals collectors call Red Eye.  If you're looking for one to sew with, a Red Eye is a good choice, since it takes round bobbins that are still available new.

This was a fun booth to look through!  I did buy one of the remnants for 25 cents, plus this one for $1.50:

Truth in advertising!  The tag reads "The cutest robot remnant in the entire world".  It's a heavier fabric, maybe for a small bag or a zipper pouch.

Antique malls really do have an "anything goes" vibe.  This is the weirdest thing I saw yesterday.  Hundreds of miles away from real alligators, you can buy a bright green one with lights, to hang on your wall.  Or any number of other strange and wonderful things.

I would put this pretend dinosaur down as both strange and wonderful.  It's the Little Buddy-asaurus!

I'm going to spend some time resting up today and reading these quilt books I got for $1 each.  Tomorrow the shopping, cooking and baking begins!  We will have all our children and grandchildren here this year, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Happy Thanksgiving next week to all who celebrate.   We have so much to be thankful for.

Thanks for reading,


Linking up with:

Angela at So Scrappy
Cynthia at Oh Scrap

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Following Directions, Or Not

Welcome to Treadlestitches!

After months (and months!) of procrastinating, I finished this top this morning!

Sorry about the photo.  Even though it's not as windy today as it was last week, it's still making hanging quilts outside problematic.

The charity committee at my quilt guild is amazing, the envy of other groups in the area.  They not only longarm quilt the tops we make, they also cut donated fabric into kits for us.  We take the kits home, make the tops, and bring them back.  Then the tops are quilted, bound, and distributed throughout the community.  And even though they've gone to the trouble of writing out directions for the kits, they're okay with us changing things a bit.  The goal is the same--quilts for people who need them.

This was not at all the pattern in the kit.  I have a very bad habit not wanting to follow directions, and that's what happened here.  I started out okay, but ran out of steam and set the project aside.  Months later, I came back and revamped it into this design. I have no idea what this pattern is called or who first designed it.  It's one of those "as seen on the internet" ideas.  (If you know where it originated, please tell me so I can give the designer credit.)

 It looks like two blocks, but it's just the same block turned 180 degrees.  I used the strips that came in the kit, plus more from my stash.  I didn't have enough of any one fabric for the centers, so I used two fabrics and alternated them in the rows.  

Because I didn't have an actual pattern, my measurements are a little weird.  The centers are cut 5 in. square, and the strips are 2.5 in. wide.  BUT, there are two different lengths for the rectangles cut from the strips.  The ones to either side of the center are cut 2.5 x 5 in., but the ones on top and bottom have to be cut 2.5 x 4.75 in. long.  Just to make it confusing, and easy to pick up the wrong rectangle.  (This is why we should support professional designers--unlike me, they usually know what they are doing!)  A better way would have been to use 4.5 in. cut centers, which I figured out when I already had half the blocks made.  Then all the rectangles could have been the same, 2.5 x 4.5 in.

Lots of the fabrics are leaf prints, which is perfect for fall.  The top is roughly a twin size, 68.5 x 77 in.  I can't show it on the twin bed in the guest room this morning because the bed is occupied by our sleeping teen-aged grandson.

He was in a play at a local theater last night, as one of the Herdmans in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.  It was great fun, and a wonderful start to the holiday season.  He's shown here in costume as a Wise Man.  We brought him home with us after the show.

They put on the play in a restored old theater in downtown West Bend.  All the Christmas decorations and lights are up, which made it a very festive evening.

Weather wise, it's been a weird week.  Monday was warm and sunny, and Little Buddy had a day off school, so we spent lots of time outside.  Both the little guys are decked out in their Packer gear.  By Friday, we had cold rain that briefly turned into snow.

Before the bad weather, I got some herbs in to dry.  There are thyme, oregano, and sage here.  We'll need the sage soon for Thanksgiving.

Last Saturday I started a small batch of sauerkraut.  I added the last of my caraway seeds, and they do make it smell nice.  It will take a few more weeks before it's ready.

So what are you up to this week?  I'm almost finished with the Windmill blocks I've been sewing for leaders and enders, but some of them need more work, probably cut wrong.

There's a small stack of baby quilts, mostly ones I made from my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks, spray basted and ready to quilt.  Mrs. Pfaff says, bring it on!

And there's more fun to be had with this little guy, who has just discovered the joy of washable markers!

Have a good week, whatever you do.  And good luck with your projects!

Now I'm going to check out what everybody else has been doing this week.  You should join me!

Linking up with:

Angela at So Scrappy
Cynthia at Oh Scrap


Saturday, November 6, 2021

Rainbow Stars Baby Quilts

 Welcome to Treadlestitches!

I've said it before, I love the Rainbow Scrap Challenge!  The only thing more fun than making blocks from colorful scraps every month is putting them together into finished quilts.

These little quilts were made from blocks I call Four Patch Stars (they have a 4 patch in the center).  Throughout the year I made 4 of these blocks per month, until I had a total of 36.  

Twenty of the blocks went into this quilt.  These are the red, orange, green, light blue, and dark blue ones.

For sashing, I used 2.5 in. squares.  You might think this would make a dent in my squares.  It probably would for normal people.

This is how many I had left AFTER making the quilt.  (No worries, I've got another quilt planned for these!)

Here's the back, made wide enough by a strip of home cut charm squares.

The main fabric on the back is a bug print!  I'm not a fan of real bugs, but somehow I find bug prints irresistible.  I hope the child who gets this quilt likes bugs.  It measures 42 in. x 52 in., and will go to Project Linus.

So what happened to the other 16 blocks?  Girl quilt!

For this little quilt, I used the pink, purple, aqua, and yellow blocks.

The sashing is a print of tiny stars (cut 2 in. wide),

the backing is a different star print,

and the 3 in. finished border is of these happy, fun-loving cats, bought at a quilt shop on our vacation.  The purple polka dot binding came from last month's Granny's Attic sale.  Altogether, the quilt is about 42 in. square.

The quilt weren't the only things flying in the breeze yesterday when I tried to take a picture.  Little Buddy and I looked up from our board game to see kites flying in the park.

This rainbow one was our favorite.  We went outside to look, and wave at the kite flyers.  It was like a gift for us to see.

Gifts of joy are everywhere.  Here's another gift, a book I bought years ago and found in the basement when straightening up.  It's Tasha Tudor's Heirloom Crafts, by Tovah Martin.  As you may know, Tasha Tudor was a children's book author and illustrator.  Despite the cover, it's not a quilting book.  In fact, at the time the book was written she had been working on this quilt for ten years.

I really enjoyed re-reading it this week.  Ms. Tudor had a very unique lifestyle, living as though it was still 1830.  The photographs are wonderful, and it is absolutely amazing how many things in her life were made by her own hands.  She died in 2008, at the age of 92.  By the way, there are no instructions, it's more of a coffee table book.

Some of us just can't give up on Halloween!  Little Buddy had fun dancing with his skinny friend.

Baby Buddy's friend here is our geriatric cat.  The cat loves the kids, even when Baby Buddy forgets and grabs his tail.  

Just being with these little guys is joyful every day.

I'm wishing you gifts of joy this week, and every week!

Thanks for reading,

Linking up with:
Angela at So Scrappy
Cynthia at Oh Scrap