Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Table Scraps Challenge - December

I'm glad the deadline was extended for linking up our December Table Scraps Challenge entries, because mine was a Christmas gift I couldn't reveal until after the holidays.  Now that it's been gifted and received, I can show you how it turned out.

I can't remember whether I saw the idea for this table runner in a previous Table Scraps Challenge link by a fellow blogger, but however it happened, I fell in love with it at first sight.  There was a link to the pattern and I bought it right away.  The pattern is called Novella by Sew Preeti Quilts, and you can find it HERE.

My daughter and her boyfriend have two dear cats, and I thought they might really like something like this.  One Christmas gift down, check!

I pulled scraps and other fabric from my stash, and the batting was a scrap from the off-cuts of a recent quilt.  I loved the pattern's original color scheme so I felt fortunate to have what I needed on hand to stay pretty close to it.

Now, do I tell you I made a little boo-boo in assembly or not?  I guess I just did, but I'm not going to fess up to any more than that, because it really did not seem to matter one bit.  

This makes a nice long table runner or wall hanging, however you want to use it.  Before I wrapped it, I tacked it up in my kitchen for photos, and I have to say it looks pretty nice in that spot.  I may have to make another for me to keep!

Linking to The Joyful Quilter's December Table Scraps Challenge.


Monday, November 15, 2021

Finishes and Starts

I visited a new-to-me quilt store with my daughter recently called Blue Bar Quilts.  What a neat place!  So many beautiful fabrics, I was a bit overwhelmed by it all but in a really good way.  I should've taken more pictures of the store, but at least I got one right when we came in, before I went into full ooh-ahh mode as I wandered among the pretty bolts.

I can show you what I came home with, though.  Most of this is for Christmas and other secret sewing, so I won't be elaborating more until those projects are done and gifted.  Fun stuff, though!

What I am happy to reveal is that I finally quilted the redwork baskets quilt top that I had finished a few months back.  You can read more about that HERE.  Evie had sent me the beautiful embroidered blocks to put together into a quilt to be donated.  While I rehabbed from finger surgery (and then procrastinated some more), it patiently waited for me to figure out how to quilt it.

Ultimately, I decided that simple straight-line quilting inside the embroidered spaces was the way to go, but I didn't want to make tracks all over that pretty stitching.  Just enough to keep the layers together and not detract from the embroidery.

The baskets of flowers seemed to have a somewhat overall V shape, so I did some doodling on paper and finally went with a V overlaid with an inverted V within the embroidered blocks.  Above you can see the painter's tape, which I used as a quilting guide, marking some V's.  I'd quilt a couple areas at a time and then rotate the quilt 180 degrees and repeat the process.

I did end up going back and making a horizontal line through the center to make sure it didn't puff out too much in the resultant diamond shape.  Hence the V's turned into A's, but whatever, it worked.  You can see the quilting better in the back view.

Now it's been mailed off to Quilty Hugs for Happy Chemo.  Yay, I'm doing the finished quilt happy dance!

While I was at it with the quilting foot yet on the machine, I quilted the streak-of-lightning baby quilt made with Star Wars fabric scraps.  

Both that and the "Little Farmer" baby quilt will be donated to Project Linus.  I'll drop them off this week at the local collection spot.

Here is what's currently on the design wall.  These are the scrappy string Hole in the Barn Door blocks to date.  I like them a lot!

I'm considering how (or whether) to sash and border them, and whether I want to make a few more blocks or call it quits with these.  I'm leaning toward just stopping with what I currently have done, but we'll see.

The weather has turned cold and we had our first snow of the season this weekend.  Our silver maple tree in the back yard is always the last to drop its leaves, and when it finally decides to do it, it's over in just a couple days.  It was beautiful to watch the snowflakes and the green-gold leaves swirling through the air at the same time in a race with each other to the ground.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Table Scraps Challenge - October

I've got a fun one for this month's Table Scraps Challenge!  Follow the yellow brick road...

I wanted to use some of the cute Wizard of Oz fabrics given to me in big scrap donation from one of my daughter's coworkers.  They were so cute, but what to do, what to do?  There was not enough for a quilt, but how about a table topper? 

This was right about the time I was thinking about making some scrappy string Hole In the Barn Door blocks, so I used that idea to make a larger size block for this table topper.

I originally thought I might string-piece the vertical and horizontal parts of the block that surround the center square from black and white fabrics, a la Wicked Witch stockings.  But then I found an interesting art deco-ish looking fat quarter in the stash that reminded me of Emerald City architecture (in my mind's eye, anyway), so I went with that.  So glad I did! 

I added some black corner triangles to the center square for a little more focus and sort of a scrapbook effect.  

For the backing, I had a gingham fabric that was reminiscent of Dorothy's dress.  Then I straight-line quilted the block in a crosshatch pattern.

The binding is from a fat quarter of the same line as the other art deco-ish print.  So is the background fabric, come to think of it.

It finished at 18-1/2 inches square, a nice size for the pub style table in the kitchen.

Linking to The Joyful Quilter's Table Scraps Challenge October Link Party!

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Using Star Wars Scraps and a Hole In the Barn Door Begins

I had a mind to use up the Star Wars themed scraps that someone gifted me this past year.  I had small bits of this and that, most of them less than a fat quarter but one bigger piece between a half and two-thirds of a yard.  So I just started cutting what I had into 4.5-inch squares, trying to get the most out of what was there, and then arranged them in a streak of lightning way on the design wall.  I filled in with other scraps that coordinated and soon enough I had something baby quilt or small throw quilt size.

When you're working with a limited number of squares of certain fabrics, it's takes more fiddling to even things out.  

That's a polite way of saying: This took for-freaking-ever.  But the top got done.  

As always, there were leftovers.  I'd been thinking of making another string quilt to whittle down the scrap pile.  Coincidentally, I was catching up on my YouTube subscriptions and came across this video from Just Get It Done Quilts where she was piecing strips and crumbs onto 3-inch wide adding machine tape.  I didn't have any of that lying around, but I did have a pad of tracing paper that was 9 inches wide, so I cut a few pages of that into 3x12 inch strips and started sewing strings onto that.  No plan, just mindless and fun piecing.

Then a couple days later, I landed on Chantal's blog, At the Corner of Scraps and Quilts, where she was making Hole in the Barn Door (HITBD) blocks with strings and solids.  I loved them!  What a great idea for my string strips, I thought.

And so it began.

I've modified the size of my HITBD block to use the width of the 3-inch strings.  That means that for each block, I'm cutting:

  • Two 6-inch squares of solid fabric (for HSTs)
  • Two 6-inch squares of background fabric (for HSTs)
  • One 5.5-inch square of solid (for center)
  • Four 3x5.5-inch rectangles from background fabric
  • Four 3x5.5-inch string-pieced rectangles

So far I've got six HITBD blocks done or almost done.  I have no idea how many I'll make, but I'll probably keep making them until I run out of background fabric or colorful solids.  Strings?  I'll never run out of those!!  

That pad of tracing paper I picked up at Goodwill is the greatest thing for string piecing.  It's very stable but thinner than, say, telephone book paper, which is my usual go-to.  It tears off easier than anything I've used so far.  Just fold it back once along the stitching line and it separates like magic.  Could it be because it's old and brittle (does paper get old?).  I don't know, but I love it.

I also had an idea for my Table Scraps Challenge project for the end of the month, so I went ahead and got working on that.  Here's a sneak peak.

That's about all the news from the sewing room.  Hubs steam mopped my kitchen floor so I should be basting a quilt (or three) while it's clean, but my knees are griping the past few days due to gardening and biking.  Yes, I am happy to report that on Monday I went for my first bike ride since my hand surgery in July.  Woo-hoo!  It felt good to be out pedaling again!  My hand felt good.  Knees, not so much, lol. 

We have had such a beautiful, warm fall so far.  I am enjoying every bit of it.  I do have to get my evening walk in early because of the shorter days, but there's been no frost on the pumpkin yet.

The other day when the morning sun hit the neighbor's ash tree, it lit up like a torch!  

So many ash trees have died due to disease (emerald ash borer) this past year or two, and it's been sad to see so many of them standing naked throughout the city.  We had to have ours removed this past winter.  Our neighbor's tree has been spared thus far, though, so I am especially grateful to see it in full color again this year.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

More Crocheted Cuties

How's it going?  Are you hanging in there?

Up to your eyeballs?

All is well here.  I don't mean to scare you.

Just horsing around.

You're in for a real treat!

Puns aside, I thought I'd show you a few more cute crocheted things made by my daughter Michelle over the past several weeks.  You can see some other ones in a previous post HERE.

I don't know much at all about crocheting, so learning the name for this type of thing was even new to me.  It's called amigurumi.  And yes, I had to Google that.

I call them adorable!  She really makes it look easy-peasy (sorry, couldn't resist), but I'm sure it's not.

These green cuties were a fun little surprise for my birthday in August.  They make me smile right back!  The pod is only about 5 inches long and the happy peas are each smaller than a ping pong ball.  

After crocheting the first couple items, Michelle developed a preference for certain types of yarn.  Like most hobbies, we find out what works and what doesn't through practice and experience.

She named this sweet little elephant Potato Chip because of the shape of his ears.  I got to hold Potato Chip when I visited recently, and he is so soft but surprisingly well stuffed, so he's steady on his feet and doesn't flop over.  He stands near her window sill, keeping watch over the neighborhood.

This trout was requested by a coworker of Michelle's.  She took a salmon pattern and modified it.  I think she did a great job!

Her cat Brooklyn (aka Keaky) got first sniff of the ice cream cone.  He seems pretty nonchalant, but he's an elder statesman so has seen a lot already.  It takes a bit to impress him.

Or maybe he was just waiting for the cherry on top?!

Thanks, Michelle, for sharing your crochet creativity with me and the readers!

Thursday, September 30, 2021

A Couple of Small Quilt Finishes

I finished a couple of small quilts this week.  Hooray for progress!  I also finished physical therapy for my hand.  Whoop-whoop!  

Fortunately, I didn't need the splint for the left middle finger that may be developing trigger finger.  I'm just supposed to keep an eye on it and make an appointment with the hand clinic if it gets worse.  The left pinky finger that had surgery will just take time to heal completely and the swelling may last up to a year, she said.  I went down a size in the compression sleeve, from a large to a medium, so it feels like things are going in the right direction.

Anyway, quilts...  Last time I mentioned I was able to practice my quilting again on a small scrappy piece.  Since then I finished binding it and have given it to my niece's little girl, Jade, as a doll quilt.  

Jade's going to have a new little sibling around Christmastime, so I'll be starting a quilt for the expected baby soon.

This little doll quilt was made from scraps of scraps of scraps!  Scraps from mask making were turned into a Scrappy Rail Fence quilt, which yielded scraps for this doll quilt. 

The other small quilt finish is what I'm calling Little Farmer, for the farm-themed scraps it's made from.  These were leftover bonus HSTs and other scrap pieces from the County Fair quilt I put together recently.

Don't you love it when you get another whole quilt from the main quilt?  I had enough leftover fabrics for the pieced backing too.  It ended up about 45 inches square.

I imagine little ones, as they get a bit older, playing with toy tractors on it, weaving through the "fields" of corn, hay, wheat, etc.  Here it is with the John Deere tractor and wagon that my daughter and her cousins all used to play with at Grandma and Grandpa's house some 30 years ago.

I quilted it with a simple meander in a gold colored thread.  I think it turned out really cute!

This one will be donated, but I'm not sure where yet.  I have to review my list of donees and see where the best fit for it may be (size-wise, etc.).

Linking to:  Can I Get a Whoop-Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.