Saturday, March 18, 2023

Happy Greens, and Back From the Quilter Part Deux

 Welcome to Treadlestitches!

I hope everyone had a happy (and safe) St. Patrick's Day yesterday.  I made Happy Blocks as one of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge sets for the year.  The centers are light novelty prints, bordered in green.

One of my goals this year is using up some of my vast collection of 5 in. squares and strips.  The centers of the Happy Blocks use the light pieces, and these Uneven Nine Patches use two light and two dark squares each.  (Click HERE to find out how.)  So, progress, right?

It's fun to use all these prints I've been collecting:  bugs, school stuff, race cars, cows, tractors, animals...

Minecraft, sports, more bugs, and of course Green Bay Packers.

How are your green blocks coming along?  I love seeing all the blocks people are making for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  So many scraps are turning into useful, beautiful quilts!

Apparently I'm not sewing fast enough!  These are just 3 of the 10 (I counted!) scrap baskets in my sewing room.

Do you recognize this?  Well, of course you do, it's a die for an Accuquilt Cutter.  More than 10 years ago I bought a cutter to help with getting all these scraps under control.  This particular die makes 2 in. finished half square triangles.

Take a close look at these.  The points are nubbed off on both sides!  It makes them so easy to work with.  The die cuts 12 of these at a time from each layer.  I usually cut 4 layers at a time (although the directions say you can cut more).  One quick pass through the machine, and I have 48 hsts ready to go.

Maybe I got a little carried away with the cutting.  I cut hundreds of triangles from my reproduction fabrics, and made several quilt tops.

I started this blog in 2013, and in January that year I posted this photo of the not quite finished quilt top.

It's a top no more!  After all these years, my Scrap Basket quilt is beautifully quilted, thanks to the talents of my friend Joey Mahieu.

Back From the Quilter, Part Deux

Originally, I was undecided about the borders.  I didn't have enough of anything to do all four sides, so I set it aside for a few years (!).  I could have bought something, but I wanted to use up what I had.  Eventually I just used two different indigo blue fabrics, one for the side borders and one for the top and bottom.

Joey quilted gorgeous feathers in the borders, and a graceful flower in the corner.  (Sorry it's hard to see.)  The pink is a Mary Koval print I bought on sale at a quilt show.

Each block in the quilt takes 10 small triangle-squares (so 20 triangles) plus 3 more triangles in the top and two more at the base, for a grand total of 25 small triangles.  Much easier with the Accuquilt cutter!  (BTW, just a happy customer, no affiliation.)

Some of my favorite conversation prints are in here, like the little sewing machines and the books.  I love how the curvy quilting contrasts with the piecing.

The quilting shows up even better on the back.

It's a wide backing from Connecting Threads.

There are just two more jobs for me to do to finish this quilt:  Bind it, with these strips I've saved, and add a label.  I am so thrilled to have this very old UFO nearly done, and done so well!  Thank you, Joey!

If you'd like your quilt top quilted by the Marvelous Mrs. Mahieu, click HERE for her Facebook page, and HERE for information about the shop.  [No affiliation, just a friend and a satisfied customer.]

In other news, my Little Guy has really gotten into puzzles lately.  These wooden ones from Melissa and Doug are his favorites.

And when I have time in the sewing room I usually have the company of a curious young cat.

It's hard to sew when he's stretched out on the treadle!  But I persist.

What are you persisting with this week?   Hope it's something fun!

Thanks for reading,


Linking up with:

Sarah at Can I Get A Whoop Whoop

Alycia at Finished or Not Finished Friday

Angela at So Scrappy

Cynthia at Oh Scrap



Saturday, March 11, 2023

Green Blocks, Pink Quilts, & Back From the Quilter, Part 1

 Welcome to Treadlestitches!

I'm having fun with green scraps this week.  These are my Big Scrappy Bricks blocks, inspired by a pattern at called Forest Bricks (click HERE).  I've got a real thing for brick quilts right now, in all sizes.  These blocks are great for some fun novelty prints.

I am not a fan of snakes, but this print doesn't even creep me out.  Much. (My grand kids tease me about this.  They actually LIKE snakes. <shudder>)

Moving on from reptiles, I finished the little pink quilts I was working on last week.

The flannel rail fence quilt, shown here wrapped around my Little Guy's stuffed dog, will go to Jack's Basket to celebrate a baby with Down's Syndrome.

Here's the back, two adorable dogs in a heart, that says Puppy Love.  Another second-hand flannel find.

More pink!  I have never made this many pink quilts at one time before.  And there's one more still in the works!  This little nine patch was easy and fun to make, and uses some cute prints.

The fabric in the alternate plain blocks is a print I call Flying Donuts.  I had it left over from another baby quilt.  All that's left now are small scraps.

The back is this nostalgic baby toys print, also bought second-hand.  The quilt will be donated, but I'm not sure where yet.

So that's what I've been sewing this week. 

Last week, I showed you a pile of quilts (folded inside out)  I just got back from my friend Joey Mayhieu, who is a fabulous long arm quilter.  I quilt most of my quilts myself, especially the baby quilts that are easy to do on a domestic machine.   I also do simple grid quilting on larger quilts and quilt-as-you-go.  But sometimes there are special tops that just need professional quilting, and that's when I turn to Joey.

I was over the moon when she brought me three quilts I had given her to work on in October, and I can't wait to show them to you.  But I think each quilt needs its own write-up, so I'll do one this week, one next week, and one the week after. 

Back From the Quilter, Part 1:  Star Medallion

In January 2015, quilt historian Barbara Brackman started a series on her Civil War Quilts blog called Stars in A Time Warp.  Each Wednesday, she discussed a different kind of fabric or print from the past (like shirting prints, Prussian Blue, etc.).  Participants could follow along and make 6 in. star blocks from reproduction fabrics.  (It's still up!  Click HERE for the first week.)

It was so much fun to learn about all kinds of fabrics, and hunt through my reproductions to make the stars.  I could hardly wait for Wednesday each week.  Eventually I made enough blocks for two quilts.  Joey quilted the first quilt for me in 2017.  (Click HERE to see it.)

This is the top I made in Feb. 2016.  The first quilt contained the blocks with reproduction fabrics from the last half of the 1800s.  This quilt has repros from the first half, 1800-1850.  I set it in a medallion, a classic style from that time period.  Joey and I together decided on the quilting, to have it in keeping with what was done in this era.  (Joey is very knowledgeable about antique quilts BTW.)

The center is this bird, a copy of a Hewson print.  Joey quilted it with a cross hatch.

Each "round" of the medallion has separate quilting.  I absolutely love this organic form in the inner star round.

Here you can see part of the spirals in the last round of stars, and the graceful feather turning the corner on the border.

The back is this green pillar print--classical columns printed lengthwise on the fabric.  I had just barely enough of this fabric, but Joey made it work. (I used some for an inner border before I knew I wanted it for the back!  Oops!)

If you have your quilts quilted by others, you know a good long-armer is worth her/his weight in gold!  This quilt turned out even better than I imagined, and I know I could not have done it myself.  So many thanks again to Joey for her talents and time!

Next week, a basket quilt.

Somebody had a birthday!  And of course it was all about trains.  Big brother was a good helper.

Snicklefritz is really growing.  Do you think I need to get him a bigger bed?

Have a good week, everyone!



Linking up with:

Alycia at Finished or Not Finished Friday

Sarah at Can I Get A Whoop Whoop

Angela at So Scrappy

Cynthia at Oh Scrap

Saturday, March 4, 2023

How Is It March Already?

 Welcome to Treadlestitches!

It's not spring here yet, and the grass is still brown, but the sun is shining and the temperature is above freezing, so that counts as great weather for early March in Wisconsin.  

Now why would I have all these green scraps out on my cutting desk?  It must be green month at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge!  Not sure why I haven't always had lots of green scraps, but I've been looking for them at sales the last couple of years, and this is the result.  It will be fun to cut them up for my RSC blocks this month.

These little house blocks are made from charm squares, and are lightning fast to sew--just one seam!  It's hard to wait til the end of the year to start putting them into small quilts.

I'm still working on the pink Uneven Nine Patch blocks, but I made time for one green one.  Each block is made from 4 charm squares, so no waste, and I'm using up some of my squares.  (Click HERE for the brief instructions I posted last week.)

Speaking of pink, I still have pink projects to finish!  This little flannel quilt just needs to be bound.  It will go to Jack's Basket, an organization celebrating babies with Down's syndrome.  Don't you just love that cat print?

Does this happen to anybody else?  I can't seem to decide on all my RSC blocks for the year in January.  So if I add a new project and want all the colors represented, I have to make blocks in the colors from the previous month(s).  This time it was only February when I added the Uneven Nine Patches, so only one month to play catch up.  Now that the dark blue blocks are done, I'm back on track.  At least for now.

I had a lovely visit with my friend Joey this week.  She has a shop in Mineral Point, Wisconsin called Against the Grain (Click HERE for some info about the shop.)  We enjoyed the antique quilt exhibit at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts, ate lunch out, talked for hours, and even got some fabric cut.  While she was here, she did a BIG favor for me.

I've been wanting to let go of some of my vintage fabrics, etc.  Since she sells these in her shop, she was interested in them, so I pulled out stuff I had already sorted before she came.  Then I went through my printed feed sacks.  I pared them down by HALF.  Now all of them fit in my old metal trunk.

I can actually see and enjoy what I have!  I kept plenty of pieces to use in quilts, and all of this makes me happy.  You might even say it sparks joy.

And Joey, bless her, took ALL the stuff I had out to get rid of.  She'll sort it out, and donate anything she doesn't want.  We filled up her trunk and most of her back seat with boxes and bags.  I feel so much lighter with this stuff gone.  Hurray!

But wait, there's more!  Joey is also a fabulous long arm quilter.  She custom quilted THREE quilts for me, and they are WONDERFUL.  You'll have to wait til next week to see them unfolded.  BTW, Snicklefritz the cat was quickly shooed away after this photo!

It's been a busy week with my little boys, although I didn't manage to get any decent pictures.  My first grade Buddy was laughing when I picked him up at school on Friday.  He told me his teacher had read a book to the class called Weird But True Gross Things.  I won't repeat the disgusting things he remembered from the book and shared with us.  His poor mother was covering her ears and begging him to stop.  Why do boys love this stuff?

I hope you have a lovely week, and time to spend with family and friends.

Cheers for reading,


Linking up with:

Alycia at Finished or Not Finished Friday

Sarah at Can I Get A Whoop Whoop

Angela at So Scrappy

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Rainbow Blocks and Three Baby Quilts

 Welcome to Treadlestitches!

February, which is pink month at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, is winding down.  Are you still thinking pink?  I am, which is odd since pink has never been my favorite color.  I'm really enjoying it, and it could be because it contrasts so well with the white winter wonderland I live in.

I've added yet another project to my Rainbow Scrap Challenge list.  These blocks, sometimes called Puss in the Corner, are fun to make from 5 in. squares.  One of my guild members (who shall always be known here as Nancy, Queen of Scraps) showed a quilt she made from this pattern last month, and that was it, I was hooked.  I especially liked it since this year I'm trying to use up boxes of 5 in. squares and strips.

I don't know what rock I was hiding under not to have seen this pattern done from charm squares before!  If anybody knows where it originated, let me know and I'll give credit where it's due.  Just in case you might have missed it like me, here are some brief instructions.

For each block, you need 4 charm squares, two matching light ones and two matching dark ones.  If you want a dark center, you cut them like this:  leave one dark 5 in. square whole, and cut the other one into four 2.5 in. squares.  Then cut both light squares in half lengthwise to make 4 rectangles 2.5 in. x 5 in.  From there, just sew them into an elongated nine patch.

For a light center, reverse it.  They go together best in a quilt if there are equal numbers of light and dark centered blocks.  (Did you see my goof up?  I made more light centered blocks than dark, so now I have to sew more blocks.  Oh, well, guess I have to spend the afternoon in my happy place, sewing quilt blocks on my treadle! Horrors! <wink>)

More pink!  I quilted and bound my pink Rail Stepper baby quilt last night.  Many thanks to Alycia for her free tutorial (click HERE).

I had a hard time deciding how to quilt this one.  In the end I went for a 3 in. grid with serpentine stitch.  Not very imaginative, I know, but I do like how subtle it is.

Lots of dots in this one, including the backing and binding. 

It was a weird week.  Monday and Tuesday there was no school for Buddy due to teacher inservice.  I was hoping to take them to the library, which they love, but both of them were sick.  They're huddled up under quilts here, watching Peppa Pig.

Due to the frightful weather on Wednesday and Thursday, with snow and sleet etc., the boys' parents looked after them at home, so we had no babysitting duties.  There were lots of things to do here, as always, but I did have more time to quilt.

Remember this top?  I called it Dinosaurs Around the World.  It was layered and basted already, so it was quick to quilt.

Look what I found for the back!  I got a yard of this world map fabric on sale at our local quilt shop.  I had to add strips of the sea turtle print at the top and bottom to make it long enough.

There are some really fun things being printed on selvedges!  The map fabric had these old timey ships.  Way more fun that just the usual dots of color!

This little quilt was also ready to go.  I started making the blocks last year in July using the tutorial provided by Preeti for the Positivity Quilt Along 2022  (click HERE).  I made a large blue and green version for the quilt along, but loved the idea of multi-colored scraps (of course!).  

I call mine The Gum Wrapper Quilt, because it looks like the chains we made with gum wrappers when I was a child.

The quilting is a 2 in. grid, sewn in the ditch.

Here's the back, more of the sale fabric from the quilt shop.  The binding is a red pin dot, probably from the 1990s, that I got second hand.

The backing had another great selvedge!  This one says Play All Day Be Joyful.  Well, you don't have to tell me twice!  

Snicklefritz the cat takes the Play All Day advice to heart every day.  I couldn't get him to pose at all.

Bonus--Preeti's method makes two identical blocks.  I only used one of each in this quilt.  So there is a stack of 25 more blocks waiting for me to put them together.

To be honest, there are LOTS of block sets waiting for me.  Does that mean I'm ahead, or behind?

Either way, I'm having a good time.  I hope you are, too.  Stay warm and safe!



Linking up with:

Sarah at Can I Get A Whoop Whoop

Alycia at Finished or Not Finished Friday

Angela at So Scrappy

Cynthia at Oh Scrap