Thursday, February 28, 2019

OMG I made it!

Woot!  My fingers may be sore, but my redwork quilt is QUILTED!!!  This was my OMG, one monthly goal, for February.
I've been working like crazy on the hand quilting this week.  Yesterday, with the quilting done, I was finally taking out the basting stitches.
Biddy the cat was helping me, as usual.  He's mostly moral support.
I still have a few thread ends to trim.
The back is off-white solid fabric from my vintage bin.
All that's left is the binding, which I'll do this weekend.  Thank goodness I didn't make that part of the goal!  I managed to find enough of the original red fabric to bind with, which is almost a miracle.  This project has been hanging fire for more than 3 years!
If it wasn't for the OMG, I wouldn't have gotten this done.  Many, many thanks to Patty at Elm Street Quilts, where I'm linking up today.
Happy dancing all day long today!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Quilting Like Mad

Has anybody else got an OMG deadline you haven't yet met?  ACK!  I've got til Thursday to finish this little redwork quilt for the One Monthly Goal February challenge (click HERE for details), so I'm hand quilting until my fingers bleed, or at least hurt. 
Two of the borders are done, so I do have an actual chance to finish if I keep after it.  I'm using this rope design.  I chose it because a) I had it already; b) I don't see how I could use this stencil for machine quilting; and c) it's an old fashioned design for an old fashioned quilt.
I've been working on this quilt during my Little Buddy's naptime, and sometimes in the evening when watching TV.  The best programs for hand quilting, in my opinion, are on PBS.  No commercials.  We record nearly everything we watch, and skip the commercials when we play it back, which means grabbing the remote every few minutes to buzz through all the people trying to sell us luxury cars, medicine with truly terrifying side effects, financial services we don't need, and delicious-looking food we shouldn't eat.  Time spent buzzing is time not spent stitching.
And of course, I have more than one project going on!  Having (finally!) decided on a backing, bought it, washed, and pieced it, I am at last machine quilting my Wagon Trail quilt, one of last year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilts.  Above is the design I chose for the open spaces.
I'm using Golden Threads paper to get the design on the quilt.  I mark a square of the paper with the design, using a permanent pen, pin it to the top with safety pins, and then twist and turn (and possibly swear a little), quilting this on my domestic machine with the built in walking foot.  I'm liking the look of it, but I am very glad I'm doing this in two sections.  As a complete quilt I would not be able to manage this design at all.
So that's the quilty stuff I'm up to!  Also, this:
I got this book from the library--Modern Quilt Magic, by Victoria Findlay Wolfe.  (Click HERE to go to her author page at Amazon.)  It was fun to read and to look through the colorful quilt pictures.  She is an inspiring artist, and I actually got to meet her once.  I hear from acquaintances that she is an excellent teacher.
When not reading or quilting this week, I was having fun with my Little Buddy.
This is my youngest grandson on the giant pile of snow at the side of our driveway.  I have a similar photo of his mother doing the same thing.
Little Buddy loves the snow!  (Can you tell?)
This week, I'm wishing you this kind of joy, in the simple things.  Like a four foot snow drift.  (But just the joy, not the snow.)
Cheers for reading,

Linking up with:
Myra at Busy Hands Quilts
Angela at So Scrappy
Sarah at Can I Get A Whoop Whoop
Cynthia at Oh Scrap

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Whole Heartedly Quilting

Welcome to the blog!  Above is the view out my back door today.  We had a good snowfall earlier this week (about 10 inches or so) to go with the ice from last week.  Most of the terrible cold temps were gone, so my grandson and I ventured out to play on Wednesday and Thursday.  The dog got a good run, too.  You can see our tracks in the snow.
My yellow zigzag rows are done for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge!  There are 8 blocks in each row, and the rows are 64 in. wide.  I'm wondering if that will be enough, or if I'll need a border or two to make it bigger.
Here are the January and February rows together.  I'm liking this quilt more all the time.  It has been great to sew the yellow blocks while everything outside is so blah.  Thanks, Angela!

I had an extra day to sew this week since my daughter had a day off, so I tried to make good use of it.  Sewing is the best when you're snowed in, isn't it?
More bright colors!  I finished my heart quilt top, just before Valentine's Day.  Each heart is a different print, mostly novelties.  I used this tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew in the 6 in. finished size (click HERE), and added 2.5 in. strips of solid colors around each heart.  Each of my blocks measures 10 in. finished.
The border is made up of 2.5 x 4.5 in. rectangles in bright colors.  I put a 4.5 in. (cut) square of blue print in each corner.
With all these colors, I think I can pretty much bind with whatever color I want.
I'm planning to quilt it myself, and donate it.

So, what's next?
Cleaning out the bins, one bin at a time.

This is my 1930s reproduction fabric bin.
I also have this small annex bin for the 2.5 in. strips and squares. I took all the fabric out of the big bin, washed anything that hadn't been washed, and cut up any scraps to my usual sizes of 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, 4.5 and 5 in. strips/squares.  Then I sorted the remaining pieces by size, from fat quarters to several yards.
I used to have lots more 1930s stuff, and I really love it, but I think I might need to start using it up instead of just hoarding it and petting it.

Hmm, there might be a project calling me from these bins.

For now, back to hand quilting the redwork quilt. 
Only 6 more sashings and the border left!

I'm wishing sunshine and all good things for you this week.
Cheers for reading this,

Linking up with:
Angela at Soscrappy
Myra at Busy Hands Quilts
Sarah at Can I Get A Whoop Whoop
Cynthia at Oh Scrap

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Wintry Mix

Wintry mix is a term that accurately describes our weather lately, here in southeastern Wisconsin.  We have had rain, snow, below zero temps, sleet, ice, oh, and sunshine, all just this week.
So of course I'm not venturing outside much, which leaves lots of time for sewing when my Little Buddy goes home for the day.  As you can see above, I finished my little Kings Crown quilt, which I started back in November (click HERE for the post).  The centers of the blocks are crumb squares.
Here's the back.  The binding is a green I've had a long time, probably because it is so ugly (at least I think so!).  It's the right shade of green, so I can finally use some of it up.
I'm planning to send this one to Quilts for Kids.  I hope it brightens up a hospital room for a child and his/her parents.
This whole post is a wintry mix, just a mish-mash of things I've been working on lately.
I got 3 yellow stars done for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt made from reproduction scraps.  Here I'm laying them out on the ironing board, trying to decide what I'll eventually use for sashing fabric.  What do you think of the green?
Yellow can be a hard color for 1800s repro quilts.  It is so bright! which is great, but it tends to draw attention to itself, maybe a little too much.  So I made the star points in yellows and the centers in a contrasting fabric to calm things down a little.
I only made 3 yellow blocks, mostly for the same reason.  A little yellow goes a long way with these post-Civil War reproduction quilts. JMHO.
At last, I got around to straightening up my sewing room bookcase.  It took half a day to take everything off, dust like mad, put stuff in the basement and/or the Goodwill pile, and decide what I really needed on here.  I even weeded out the project bins on the bottom, and only kept things upstairs that I seriously plan to work on this year.  Progress!
Here's where I am on my OMG--one monthly goal--for February.  I'm hand quilting the sashing on the little redwork quilt.  There are a total of 31 sashes, and I only have 13 more to go.  But then I have to figure out what to quilt in the border.  Any ideas?
More yellow!  I'm sewing the triangles for my second RSC project, a zigzag quilt in bright colors.  I get a few done just about every morning before my grandson gets here.
So that's where I am today, ready to go up to the sewing room to do my favorite kind of "work".

I'm hoping your work this week is interesting, challenging, and fun.
Cheers for reading,
Linking up today with:
Cynthia at Oh Scrap
Angela at So scrappy
Myra at Busy Hands Quilts
Sarah at Can I Get a Whoop Whoop 

Check out all the wonderful quilty goodness!

Saturday, February 2, 2019

New Month, New Goals, Still Red

Welcome to February!  Around here, we're really glad to see the end of January with its terrible cold.  Thursday morning it was -24 degrees (minus 24!) when I got up.  Right now it's 36 degrees ABOVE ZERO, and it seems like a heat wave.
My goal for the OMG this month is hand quilting this little quilt.  It's made of redwork squares I bought at the Cedarburg Maxwell Street Days flea market several years ago.
I started quilting it in January of 2016 (one hundred years after this block was made!), and kind of ran out of steam.  I have a little arthritis in my hands, which was my excuse for stopping work on it, but I have found that using my hands more actually helps them work better.
Maybe making this my goal will push me to finally get it done.  These little squares deserve to be finished, not just languishing in my closet for another year or two.
In other news, we got a new color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge--yellow!  That should brighten up the sewing room this month!  While I was waiting for the next color to be announced, I quilted last month's blocks (seen above).
I'm doing these quilt-as-you-go style.  It's really easy to quilt one block at a time.  I still need to decide on/find a sashing fabric, but I can do that closer to the end of the year.  The batting is cut from my giant bin of batting scraps.  There will be some hand work on the back to finish the quilt, but I find that kind of pleasant.
Here's the back.  I bought the whole 6 yard bolt of this neutral, and I'm hoping it will be enough.  If not, I'll just make fewer blocks or smaller borders or something.  Yeah, I'm kind of winging it here.
One consequence of the cold weather was less babysitting for me, since my daughter and son-in-law got some days off.  So I finished quilting this top, a small version of Bonnie Hunter's Happily Scrappily Irish.  Bella the dog loves it.
This is the year of trying new things!  My new thing here is hanging diamonds quilting.  Hanging diamonds is a sort of grid, with one set of lines going straight up and down, and a second set of lines going diagonally.  It's a very old style, often seen on antique quilts.  And now on my quilt!
BTW, there are little squares of yellow in almost all the blocks.
I'm not as happy with the border quilting.  I didn't do the best job marking it (ran out of Golden Threads paper and just marked with soap) so it's a tad wobbly.  It's another old fashioned design, a six-strand cable.
Neutral repro back, and red binding, and that's it.  I made the top in the first place to use up my 2 in. wide strips of repro/traditional scraps.  And are they used up?  Well, at least I can close the drawer now.

In 2018, I kept lots of lists of my quilting, just to try to keep my projects on track.  One list was Tops Made, with a place to add the date the top was quilted.  Three twin-sized tops were turned in to the charity committee at my local quilt group to be long arm quilted for folks in need.  The rest were quilted by me, on my lovely Mrs. Pfaff.
This Irish Chain top was the last one to be quilted from that list.  This means that every top I finished last year is now a finished, useful quilt.
Now, what about the backlog?  Maybe there will be some snow days in our future?  (Just kidding, I'm not really wishing for more snow.)
Having thoroughly used red in January, I am looking forward to digging into the yellow scraps this month.
I'm wishing bright scraps and bright thoughts for you this week.
Cheers for reading,

Linking up with
Angela at Soscrappy
Patty at Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal
Myra at Busy Hands Quilts 
Sarah at Can I Get A Whoop Whoop 
Cynthia at Oh Scrap