Saturday, February 24, 2018

Kid Stuff

I'm back from a quilt retreat weekend (that's why no blog last week), and Max the bunny is helping me show what I got done.  It's all fun stuff for kids.
First, doll quilts!  You may have heard of the Spread the Love campaign, to make doll quilts for the kids who are receiving dolls from A Doll Like Me.  (If not, HERE is the post from Bernie at Needle and Foot.)  I made two little quilts from orphan blocks and squares.
After making two of these blocks a few weeks ago, one red and one blue, I just sort of fizzled out, so it was nice to put them to good use.  The center block is 12 in., and the quilts are 24 in. square.
Here's the red one.
And the blue one.  I did a better job of keeping the red one flat.  Max doesn't care, so I hope the kids won't either.
Next up--dinosaurs!  I had a pack of dinosaur charm squares I bought at a quilt show a couple of years ago (I think).  I used more bright colored 5 in. squares plus rectangles cut 5 in. x 9.5 in. to make the quilt.  There are only 3 pieces in each block--two squares and a rectangle.
Here it is, on its side.  I am having an argument with the camera today.  So far, I'm losing.
These fabrics were so much fun to sew.  The pattern is called The Long and the Short of It, and is by Barbara Esposito.  You can find it HERE for free on the Moda Bakeshop.  The pattern calls for 30 blocks, but I only made 20 for a smaller quilt.
Check out this crazy backing fabric!
The quilting is just lines across the quilt.  They are mostly straight and mostly parallel.  Well, mostly.
This quilt will be donated to Quilts for Kids.
When I got to the retreat, I already had this little flannel quilt pieced, layered, and spray basted.  It didn't take long to quilt it simply and bind it.  It will go to Project Linus.
Lastly, I finally finished and bound my second Pixel Hearts quilt.
There are so many fun fabrics in here.
Wait til you see the back.
Monsters!  or Aliens!  or both!  So strange and goofy.  I love it.  It was on the Clearance table.  Can you believe it?
It is so much fun to make kid quilts with these fabrics, and it's fast and easy to finish them.
I hope you're having fun this week, whatever you are doing.
Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Busy Hands Quilts.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Just the Scraps, Ma'am

Do you ever feel yourself getting sidetracked?  Last week I started making these blocks, two nine patches paired with two plain squares.  This was supposed to be a leaders and enders project while I finished assembling a different quilt top.  Instead, it completely took over.
I can't regret it, I had so much fun making these blocks!  The small 9 patch blocks are made from 2 in. squares.  All of it came from scraps.  The small squares came from the 2 in. strip drawer.  The larger squares are 5 in., and are from a box of charm squares I cut from reproduction fabric scraps.
Mostly, when I make scrap quilts, about 80% of the pieces come from actual scraps.  I usually cut the rest from yardage or big scraps so I can add in colors or types of prints.  This time, I went with 100% scraps in the blocks.  Scarcity makes for some interesting (weird?) pairings.
Check out the blue block above, with the flag squares.  I only had 4 squares of the original blue print, so I had to substitute a different indigo blue with larger white circles.  (Bet you saw that before I mentioned it!)
Sometimes I just had 1 square of a print, like the blue spools print here.  In that case, I cut 4 similarly colored prints from a strip, and put the odd square in the center.
I ran low on light fabrics right away.  In this blue block, all the lights are different prints.  (I love the rooster!)
This one is my favorite.  The center row in the black block above has two squares of light fabric printed with horses and riders.  This is just how the squares turned out when I cut them.  I sewed them like this as a little joke.  Is this an extremely long horse, or is the poor thing cut in half?  (Note: No horses or riders were harmed in the making of this block.)
Now I'm working on a piano keys border, and trying to decide what color squares to put in the corners.  I don't know why I'm even considering red and yellow, I usually end up with blue anyway.
These are the original piles of 2 in. scraps/strips, separated into light and dark.
And here's what's left after a week of happy piecing.  BTW, this is a small basket, usually known as a peck, which is one fourth of a bushel.
I'm not going to put any of this back in the drawer!  I've got my eye on another scrap quilt, and I'm going to cut up these strips for it.
It might end up being a large quilt.
In other news,
purple!  It's the color of the month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.
I made 4 of each of the blocks for my quilts.  These are also reproduction fabric quilts, and I really don't have a lot of purple on hand.
In between piecing like mad, I'm quilting the second Pixel Heart quilt for Project Linus.  Check out the scraps under the table.  I think the operative word here is "overflowing".
Even though it's snowy outside, my sewing room is overflowing with scrappy quilty happiness.
And that's what I'm wishing for you this week.
Link ups as usual with Busy Hands Quilts and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Two Times Three Equals Five

I'm not exactly a math whiz.  I'm the kind of person who used to read novels tucked inside the textbook in Algebra class.  Most of the math I use in daily life is just simple adding and subtracting, multiplying and dividing.
The book above, Cut the Scraps! by Joan Ford, appealed to me because I'm always curious about how other people cut and use their scraps.  My own scraps are sorted into 1.5 in., 2 in., 2.5 in., 3.5 in., 4.5 in. and 5 in. strips and squares.  The real orphans are the 2 in. pieces.  They get passed over time after time for the easier math of the 2.5 in. strips.
Ms. Ford cuts her scraps into squares in three sizes:  2 in., 3.5 in., and 5 in., and she explains in the book that she does this because they play well together.  Four patch blocks made of 2 in. squares finish at 3 in., so they can pair with the 3.5 in. squares.  And nine patch blocks made from 2 in. squares finish at 4.5 in., just like 5 in. squares.  (Two inches times 3 across equals five!  Right?)
Why did I never think of this?  And why did it suddenly go off in my head like a light bulb in a dark refrigerator?
Here's why.  Scraps!
Some people are inspired by nature, or sunrises, or songs.  I'm inspired by crumpled piles of fabric strips.  I definitely need to use these up. This mess is less than half the strips from my 2 in. drawer.  I've pulled out the 1800s reproductions, more or less, and from there sorted them into lights and darks.
I'm cutting the 2 in. strips into squares and making classic nine patch blocks.  Then I'm sewing them to pairs of 5 in. squares which are already cut and waiting.
This is so much fun I can hardly stop myself.  I was sewing in my pajamas this morning, before I'd even had my first cup of tea.
I've also had fun this week making string blocks for Covered in Love.  These aren't sewn together, just set snugly side by side.  When I get a couple more sewn I'll send them off.
The Joy in the Morning baby quilt is quilted and bound, ready for a new home.
More no-mark quilting.  The long lines in the solid blue pieces were done using the edge of the presser foot, and I cross hatched the squares by eye.  It turned out better than I was expecting, although of course not perfect.  Totally fun fabrics.
The border is this cute boot print.  My little grandson is so excited to go out in the snow wearing his boots.  He yells "Boot!  Boot!  Boot!" until I put them on him.  The snow melted away this week, but it's pouring down now, and we're expecting 4 to 6 inches of cold white stuff.  My little buddy will be thrilled.

Snow doesn't really thrill me anymore, but getting fabric and a new Kaffe Fassett book in the mail never fails.  Hurray!
Lentil soup, a cup of tea, and scraps to sew make this a perfect day to be snowed in.
Stay warm this week, and keep quilting!
Linking up as always to Crazy Mom Quilts  and Busy Hands Quilts.