Thursday, August 17, 2017

Scrap Happy Rails Top

This is the second top I've made from Crazy Mom's "No Scrap Left Behind"book (I previously posted about it here)  and the fifth modern quilt I made with scraps this year.  With the exception of the June quilt which was made with feedsack scraps, the scraps for this quilt were from all of the Cotton + Steel quilts I ever made since the fabric line came out as well as the other modern fabrics which I don't use or have as much.  This is a happy quilt because my modern scrap stash is pretty low now which means I need to make quilts with new modern fabrics so I can replenish my stash.  As much as I like the "cleansing" feel when making a quilt with scraps, I need to re-stimulate myself with the new fabrics which have been sitting too long on my shelf.  Tula Pink, here I come, oh wait, there's new Cotton + Steel fabrics.  I'm hoping to start quilting the Scrap Happy Rails top today since the backing has been sewn.  Maybe I should dangle a fresh fat quarter of new fabric in front of me to really help me press the metal to the pedal?

Quilt Size:  60" X 84"
Block Size:  12" Finished, thirty-five blocks total
Block Construction:  Three rectangles, 4.5" x 12-1/2" Cut, middle rail plain (Cotton + Steel Macrame) with two scrappy rails on the outside 

Previous YTD Total:   -49.75 yards
Current YTD Total:    -62.25 yards
Linking up with:
My Quilt Infatuation: Needle and Thread Thursday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict:  Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?
Busy Hands Quilts:  Finish Or Not Friday
Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework: Oh Scrap

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Smitten Blocks: Sew Ready Now For A Quilt

Slowly but surely, the Smitten Blocks are starting to look like a quilt.  It's been well over a month since I finished sewing all of the blocks with the exception of the side triangles which I needed to make  the paper templates myself since they were not included with the paper piecing kit I purchased. For the price I paid for this kit, it would have been nice if these twelve triangles came with it but I understand why since these triangles at the base measures over 10".  
Well, I was not looking forward to making these twelve triangles and I took my sweet time to finally realized they could easily be rotary cut--I just measured the width of the base and the height of the triangle, cut the rectangles, determine the center and cut along the 60 degree lines on my ruler (I should mention that I now finally understand how the degree lines) and voila' they were done.  I only messed up once and I still have all of my fingers.  Once the side triangles were basted, I was finally ready to lay out all of the blocks.
I had an extra block and decided that this one would be the one to be left out of the quilt.  I chose this one because I thought it would stick out because of all of the light diamonds on the outside and thought I could make a pillow with it.  I realized that the two girls in the center hexagon reminded me of my friend Carol and I--Carol is the reason why I am making the Smitten quilt.I thought I could give it to her but I decided I would just send her the paper pieces and fabrics so she can make it herself after she finishes her Smitten blocks.  I really do like this block.

I see plenty of late night sewing while finishing binge watching  Blue Bloods. I'm only on season two and still have five seasons left, so hopefully the top could be sewn together by the time I finish watching all of the episodes.  I'm keeping my fingers crosses even though I know my fingers are going to be sore.

Linking up with KokaQuilts: Sew Stitch Snap Share

Friday, August 11, 2017

Backings, Blocks and A Baby Blanket

Another "B" week for me, lots of sewing but no finished quilts or tops yet.
  • I sewed backings for five quilts which I've sent to my Long-Arm Quilter, Jan.  It's that time of year that  have to decide which quilts I want to do myself and these are the ones that need more than straight line quilting.  Four of these quilts were made before I started blogging so once they're done I'll have something new to post.
  • My seventy-two rail blocks have been sewn and trimmed and ready to sew with the Cotton+Steel gray fabric which I've been saving for the right project.  This quilt will be the second quilt I've made from Crazy Mom's "No Scrap Left Behind" book and it made quite a big dent with my modern scraps.
  • Sixteen framed square blocks measuring 18" and made with blue and green Cotton + Steel and Thimbleberries fabrics (talk about modern traditional) and ready to be quartered to make another Stacked Square quilt.  I got the idea to combine the two fabric lines when I received the New Attitudes book by Lynette Jensen who made quilts using her patterns, one with Thimbleberries fabrics and the other one with Cotton + Steel fabrics.  I thought combining the two fabric lines in one quilt would be fun, after all I have just as much Thimbleberries fabrics as I do Cotton + Steel, which is now the fabric I have to buy everytime a new line comes out.
  • My Granddaughter, Micah Rose, has a pink "storebought" fluffy fleece blanket which she is very fond of and I being the thoughtful Grandmother decided to make her a pink fleece blanket with some cute yardage that's been sitting in my stash--it's good for Micah to have a back-up "Grandma-made" blanket when her pink blankie needs to be washed or heaven forbids it somehow gets "lost" when I happened to be visiting.
My Minus 100 Yard Challenge is improving with all the backings I made this week plus it really helps that it's been over a week since I purchased any new fabric. It's going to be a busy next four months seeing that I still have over fifty yards to use, that is, if I don't buy any new fabrics.  Losing weight and using fabric is a never-ending battle for me.

Previous YTD Total:   -38.125 yards
Current YTD Total:    -49.75 yards
Linking up with:

My Quilt Infatuation: Needle and Thread Thursday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict:  Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?
Busy Hands Quilts:  Finish Or Not Friday

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Pets on Quilts 2017

Today is the first day of the Pets on Quilts 2017 Linky Party and I would be remiss if I did not enter Sophie's photo, a.k.a., the World's Worst Dog, you can read about Sophie and her quilt here.  This photo was taken right after her grooming appointment last week and I was totally unaware of this linky party until I read about it today on Lily Pad Quilting's blog: The Best Show Ever! Pets on Quilts 2017!

There are wonderful sponsors and prizes for this Linky Party, so be sure to enter.  It's a great way to see the pets of quilters, I wonder if any of them have their own quilt like Sophie. 

Linking up with:  Lily Pad Quilting

Thursday, August 3, 2017

It's the Ernie Interruptus Quilt's Turn To Be Finally Finished

I made and finished this quilt while I was waiting for the birth of my first granddaughter, Micah in March, and previously posted about the inspiration, stats and the thinking behind the making of this quilt, you can read the post here.  It only took me four months to finally quilt it and I was probably working off the adrenalin from quilting the Dear Tula Pink quilt last week.
I backed this Ernie Quilt with some of the few remaining yardage I have of the Ikea Nummer fabric which I dearly love and only use it for my modern quilts which are Nummer worthy.  If I could be granted one quilting wish, it would be for Ikea to bring back this fabric because it is so perfect for backings.  As you can see, I did straight line quilting along each strip row with intermittent diagonal quilting. The quilt feels so nice and soft.
This is the fourth quilt in the Ernie Quilt series I made which was inspired by Mr. Quilt Muse himself, Ernie Jo Mauer, the American Farm Tiger owned by Mary Etherington, Country Threads, who also made the first Ernie quilt, you can read the post here.  The Ernie Quilts are stripe blocks made with 2.5" strips which can be made any size depending on the fabric or jelly roll you may have.  This is one of my favorite patterns since I can use my die-cutter to make the strips and also a great way to use up stash and scraps.
These are the other three "Ernie" quilts I've made and you can see this pattern is so versatile and can be made with modern, traditional, reproduction, etc. fabrics.   I have other "Ernie" quilts lined up to make which I can't wait to make--I have some new Cotton+Steel prints in my stash--whoo-hoo!

I'll wait until the next post to give an update to my Minus 100 yards Challenge. I thought I finally stopped shopping but then Crazy Mom's new fabric line "Emma & Myrtle" came out and I had to buy the four yards I just had to have now which should be arriving soon.  Hopefully I can get some quilt tops done to reduce the stash down before then.

Linking up with:
My Quilt Infatuation: Needle and Thread Thursday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict:  Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?
Busy Hands Quilts:  Finish Or Not Friday
Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework: Oh Scrap
Main Crush Monday

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Dear Tula Pink Quilt is Finally Finished

I started my Dear Tula Pink Quilt in 2013 right after I retired and this was going to be the quilt project to make sure I kept my focus on quilting and not waste any of my newly acquired "free time."   
I purchased Tula Pink's 100 Modern Quilt Blocks right after it was published in 2013.  To prepare for this project, I had the book spiral bound, purchased a Moleskine graph paper book to keep track of the blocks and the fabrics used for each block and I even set up a Pinterest board.  I called this project "Dear Tula Pink" because this was going to be, for me, like the "Dear Jane" quilt started by Brenda Papadakis which was very popular at that time, and may still be, and it was the quilt to make for those who like a challenge.
One of my favorite color combinations is black, gray, brown, tan, gold, taupe and beige. I used a mash of Civil War, Asian, Traditional, Modern, Blenders, Florals, Geometrics and Novelty prints for this quilt.  Luckily for me after I pulled these fabrics from my stash, I found a print online of the Skyscrapers which, to me, tied in all of these colors.  I was planning to use this for the borders.

These are some of the blocks which you can see the different fabric types used.

And now for some stories as to how my Dear Tula Pink was made and finally finished after four years.  First of all, I intended to make all 100 of these blocks.  After I had made a few of the blocks, I happened to show them to my two quilt peeps and they wanted to join in--it would be a nice group project they said.  Each one of us would make three of the same blocks and share them with each other. Unfortunately, this idea ended less than a year after one peep made around 30 blocks and the other one whose idea was to do this together only did 21. I ended up making 39 blocks.  I was disappointed, but understood, that the other two peeps didn't have as much time as I did and when you think about it, 39 blocks multiply by four (I made two of each for myself) is 156 blocks and I was getting tired of them, especially making four of the same blocks and they were 6" finished which is too small for me.  I do like to think if I did the project by myself and only made one of each block, I probably could have made all 100 blocks.
After the decision was made to discontinue making the blocks. I made this quilt using some of the blocks made by one peep based on one of the layout ideas in the book.  I used two shades of dyed muslin and a colorful stripe fabric I had in my stash.  It's only a coverlet, no batting, just a backing of tan corduroy with light quilting.

It took me around two years to finally come up with the layout for my blocks and the funny story is that I had just finished putting together my Gypsy Wife blocks last year and if you are familiar with this pattern, the blocks are set in strips of fabric which I just didn't want to do (I was mentally exhausted after making those GW blocks) so my blocks were laid in a Sampler layout.  But with my Dear Tula Pink quilt, I wanted to set these blocks with fabric strips and solid pieces of the Skyscraper print.  After a couple of false starts this year, I finally quilted Dear Tula Pink with straight line quilting using a variegated black, brown and tan thread.

While I was finishing up this quilt and I was on Pinterest, I noticed that someone had pinned one of the blocks I had on my Dear Tula Pink Project board.  It turned out it was a block made by my dear quilt blog friend Susan Snooks, PatchworknPlay, and I had probably pinned before we became friends.  I noticed her block had similar colors and fabrics like my quilt so I went on her blog to find her finished quilt and I was amazed at the similarities between our two quilts using the same colors and fabric designs and that her blocks were laid out in the skyline layout (remember I featured a Skyscraper print in my quilt).  I sent a message to Susan asking her for the link to her quilt so you can check it out for yourself: Susan's City Skyline Quilt.  Pretty freaky, don't you think?  Susan started and finished her City Skyline quilt in 2013.  Too bad I didn't know her back then, maybe I would have made more blocks, we definitely could have shared blocks.

On my Minus 100 Yard Challenge, I guess I shouldn't have been so over confident that I could reach this goal, maybe I should have tried for a Minus 10 Yard Challenge instead.  In defense of my fabric purchases so far this month, all I can say it's July and that means sizzling Sidewalk Sales.  Sadly I didn't have to leave the house to make my purchases.

Previous YTD Total:   -49.125 yards
Current YTD Total:    -38.125 yards

Linking up with:

My Quilt Infatuation: Needle and Thread Thursday
Crazy Mom Quilts:Finish It Up Friday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict:  Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?
Busy Hands Quilts:  Finish Or Not Friday

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

12 Days of Christmas in July--Quilt Top Finished

It sure wasn't a beginning to feel like Christmas mood amidst the ring of fire heat wave, intermittent power outages, torrential downpours, flash flooding (some water in my basement studio because the sump pump went out, but not bad enough to stop me from sewing)  that occurred during the past twelve days but I'm glad my top is finished and is completed on schedule.

I love this top and that all of the fabric used came from my Christmas stash which I've been wanting to use up.  The fabric is all from different Basic Grey Christmas lines with the exception of one print which is from Sweetwater's Cookie Exchange line.  It just took me two auditions before I was happy with the fabric placement or "rhythm" like I call it.  I wasn't happy with the first audition and while I was walking the dog, the rhythm came to me.  When I worked at a quilt shop and was putting together a bargello type kit using five fabrics, I came up with a "rhythm"; Shocker (Accent), Light, Dark, Mush, Mush (medium value fabric)--you can dance a Salsa to this. I realized that since I had sixteen fabrics, four each of red, light, green and teal, I could use the same rhythm, just eliminate the last mush and then after rearranging the fabrics to this rhythm, I was happy.  
The suspense of wanting to see the way this quilt was going to turn out and not waiting until all four panels were sewn, (also couldn't figure out in my head how the four panels and the center square were going to be sewn together) I took a photo of the first panel sewn and then did a four square photo collage on PicMonkey, rotated the panels in each square and was able to preview the quilt and see that the center square involved a partial seam.  This felt like reading the ending of a mystery/suspense novel before finishing it because you had to know the outcome--which I don't do, but that's what it felt like when I was sewing the strips together.

Also, as I was sewing the strips, I was thinking that the word "Trip" in the pattern name can have dual meanings.  When you follow all of the directions and tips, your "trip" will be nice and enjoyable.  When you go off course which I did when I decided to split all of the seams of each strip sets for each panel all at once, and not one at a time like the direction, I did "trip" and stumble and became totally confused when one seam was split wrong.  I did "trip" several times--it probably didn't help that I was watching TV while splitting.  I did pay attention while sewing the strips together and always made sure I was sewing on the correct side so I did not "trip" then.  And, just as important, I pressed, according to the directions.  For such an easy pattern, it is so easy to sew wrong.  I've made several Trip Around the World Quilts before, but Sarah's (Confession of a Fabric Addict) directions were the best.  I've never made one like this one before and my strips laid nice and straight and sewed together very nicely (there were some spots where the seams didn't nest but like Sarah said, the pattern is so busy you won't notice them.

Now that this top is done, I am ready to join  the I Wish You A Merry Quilt Along which starts August 1st, (details can be found here).  I'll be using my Christmas Cotton+Steel stash for this quilt.  Of course, I needed buy some green fabrics to add to this mix and I might as well confess now, I also bought some more Christmas fabrics to add to the never-ending stash.

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop. ( Be sure to visit each blogger's site for wonderful holiday ideas and be eligible to win some great prizes), My Quilt Infatuation Needle and Thread Thursday;