Saturday, March 30, 2019

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2019

The months are flying by and March has been no exception. I nearly missed getting my green nine patches done and posted before the end of the month. Of course I know that it is the end of March but for some reason I didn't clue into the fact that this is the last Saturday of the month until last night - ridiculous I know! I was puttering around when it dawned on me that if I was going to get my blocks done I would need to get cracking. :)

I dug through my bins of 2" squares and pulled out lots of green squares and started sewing them into nine patches. By the time I got that accomplished it was getting late so this morning I finished them off by adding the outer triangles.

These blocks have now been added to the project box that contains my brown, blue, purple, red, and yellow blocks.

Pop on over to soscrappy's to check out the links to other participants in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Antebellum Album

Woohoo! I have finished all 12 of the blocks that Barbara Brackman included in her Antebellum Album 2018 block of the month.

I think they all look pretty good but that 'heavy' one in the center and the block in the lower left corner stand out to me. I will move the blocks around and see if I can make them fit in a bit better. The other option is to change the fabric placement but I just may leave them as is and move on.

Before I stitch them all together into a quilt top I still need to add the connector blocks and I have already started on them.

I really wanted to use more yellow in these connectors but I just don't have enough available. The little bit in the green fabric will have to do!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Nine Blocks Done!

First Nine Blocks
I have now added two more blocks to my Antebellum Album collection - Southern Cross and Lexington Belle. These two blocks were fairly straightforward to make and I didn't encounter any difficulties at all. :)

I am pretty happy with all of my blocks so far but I am wondering if the center block in the photo just looks too 'heavy'. Maybe I should take it apart and reverse the placement of the white print and the green in the corners. I will wait until I have everything ready to put together into a top before I make my decision. It may end up looking perfectly okay once all of the blocks are finished.
Lexington Belle
Southern Cross

It has been quite enjoyable to work on this series of blocks and I am looking forward to seeing them all come together. Just three more focus blocks to go and then I will start working on the connecting blocks.

This block of the month was provided by Barbara Brackman of Civil War Quilts in 2018. You can get information here.

Friday, March 22, 2019

A Quilt Request

The other day my sister Glenda brought me a bunch of fabric with the hopes of having it turned into a quilt that she wants to give to a friend.

Glenda wants the quilt to look earthy so she brought mostly green, brown, and pinkish/reddish/orange coloured fabrics. Most of these are fabrics that she has collected over time and added them to her stash. The funny thing is she has never made a quilt and at this point is not likely to. She doesn't even really sew very much at all but she does know how to collect fabric. :)

She did make a point of specifically buying these four fabrics and would like them to be a bit of a feature in the quilt.

I made a couple fairly simple designs in EQ7 yesterday and sent them to her so she could choose which one she would like. Of course, these are not designed using her fabrics but I thought they would be somewhat representative.

The star quilt would have 12" blocks and the centers would only be 4". The star/block quilt would have 8" blocks and would have larger spaces to feature her fabrics.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Antebellum Album - Friendship Star

This block was a bit of a challenge for me but I persevered and I think it turned out pretty darn good!

The patterns for the Antebellum Album quilt were provided by Barbara Brackman as a BOM in 2018 and can be found here. (After visiting Barbara's blog just now to add the link I looked at the block again on her blog and I see it looks slightly different than my block. I have reversed the light and dark placement of my star points.)

I printed out the templates with help from my husband and I cut all of the fabric pieces required and then I set to work to sew them all together.

That is where I started having problems. It had nothing to do with the block - it was all about my skill or should I say lack thereof. :)

There are a lot of inset seams in this block and I was doing great until I needed to add the center hexagon and that is where things went awry. I was trying to machine stitch the whole block but I couldn't make it work so I took out the stitches and then thought about how I was going to complete it.

One problem I had was after adding the corner squares the block was looking a bit rippled and that certainly didn't help things. I was able to tame it by spritzing it with water and carefully pressing it and that did the job of straightening it out. I decided the best way for me to complete the block was to applique the center hexagon onto the block and be done with it.

That worked much better for me. :)  My block ended up just barely shy of  12.5" - perfect in my books!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Crumb Quilt Progress

My latest crumb quilt is coming along quite nicely. I have made quick work of getting the sashing sewn to all of the blocks and then stitching them together into a top.

At this point, I am quite happy with my progress and my quilt but there is still more to do. The flimsy isn't very large - only 47" x 64" - so I will add another column to make it wider and I am still thinking about borders. :)
Now that it has reached this stage it doesn't need to take up design wall space and that is a very good thing!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Yup....Another Crumb Quilt :)

I am having so much fun! I spent quite a bit of time in my sewing room on the weekend and it was wonderful.  I know that I have to get in as much time as I can in there before gardening season starts.

A little while ago I shared this photo of my design wall. These particular crumb strips had been sitting in my 'inventory' for many months. When I came across them while looking for something else I took them out of their hiding place and started sewing them into pairs and I put them on the design wall to have a good look. They have been taking up valuable design wall space since then.

I need my design wall for other projects but I didn't want to put these strips back into inventory to be forgotten again so it seems I have started another quilt. :)

For this particular quilt I have chosen to sew the pairs of strips into squares. Because I made my individual strips at 2.5" x 8.5" these blocks are now 8.5" square. The storage bin contained quite a few crumb strips but there is not enough for a decent sized quilt so I will add some of the crumb strips that I am currently making to them.

auditioning sashing and cornerstones
To me they look so vibrant and sort of  'art like' on my design wall so I decided to frame them. I am using a very bold black sashing with red cornerstones. I like it!

Monday, March 18, 2019

It's a Good Challenge!

Blocks 5, 6 and 7
These are my latest set of blocks that I have made for my Antebellum Album quilt. I am very happy with my results so far even though I sometimes find it quite the challenge to decide on fabric placement. I am using a limited palette of yellow, green and black as my focus fabrics and I only have so many options to choose from and I often seem to be quite indecisive!
Cross and Crown
I personally have a great deal of difficulty envisioning what my blocks might look like with different fabric combos and that makes it really difficult for me to get the right look that I am hoping for.  I have cut and re-cut the same shapes over and over from multiple fabrics only to find it doesn't look the way I thought it would.
Madame's Star
Not to worry though, all of those extra bits and pieces of fabric won't go to waste. If I don't use them in this quilt they will certainly make an appearance in a future quilt. :)
Chimney Sweep
I may take the long route but eventually I do get to the end goal of beautiful finished blocks!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2019

The colour this month is green and that is just perfect to make me think of spring! The only problem with that is it is currently snowing as I write this...grrr!

I had hoped to make some green blocks yesterday but I only got as far as digging around in my finished hst bins looking for some green. I did find lots but most were multiples of the same fabrics. By the time I had finished digging around in the bins it was already later into the evening and I was just too tired to sew them into blocks.

This morning I made 6 broken dish blocks and 12 zig zag blocks. Wow.. the zig zag/chevron/arrow blocks look gigantic in the top photo. lol

Here is my collection of the blocks I have made so far this year.

I am not quite sure how I will use these blocks yet but I am sure I will have a real plan by the end of the year. ;)

Pop on over to soscrappy to check out the links to other RSC participants!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Getting to Work

Even though I had a late start to my morning today and yesterday I am moving right along with my prepping for the Weaving the Rails quilt. I don't know why but I have slept in both days - such a lazy dazy! I am normally up at 5 or 6 a.m. (and sometimes even 3 a.m.) so I hope that this sleeping in is just an anomaly and that I will return to my normal wake up time. I really enjoy those couple hours when I am up all by myself!

In the last couple days, I have cut off hunks from this stack of fabrics that I had pulled from my stash and have pressed the creases out. I then got to work and cut lots of 1.5" strips. I already had quite a bit of fabric cut and ready to use for this quilt and these fresh cut strips will be combined with them.

I am all about efficiency when it comes to quilting because I just have so many future quilts that need to be made. ;) So, I currently have all the strips 'sort of' sorted into stacks of light, medium and dark but we will see how long the organization lasts. I am sure as soon as I dig in they will become one huge mess but I do need to try to stay somewhat organized. The fabrics for this quilt need to be placed in a specific order based on their value and if I can keep them all sorted it will make quick work when sewing the strip sets together.

I can't wait to get started with the sewing!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Daily Crumbing!

I have been spending a bit of time most days working on my crumbs and I am making some progress. Over the last week or so I have already added 25 of these strips to my 'inventory'. You would think they wouldn't take any time at all to make but they are fairly time-consuming. The result is absolutely worth it if you ask me. :)

The strips look so shaggy and messy when they are being made but once they are trimmed they turn into little treasures.

Even though I made 25 of these 2.5" x 8.5" strips there is absolutely no difference in the amount of crumbs that I have in my bins. At this point, I think I already have a lifetime of crumbs to make gazillions of blocks even if I don't add another crumb to the bins. :)  You know I will though - love it!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Antebellum Album

Last year, Barbara Brackman held a block of the month called Antebellum Album. Of course, I joined in but after one month I managed to drop out. I didn't intend for that to happen but c'est la vie! That first month I couldn't decide which colour scheme that I wanted to use so I ended up making two blocks.
Wandering Lover - Block 1
I am picking that project back up and I have decided to just go with the green, yellow and black colour scheme.

So far, I have made two additional blocks to add to the first one. I skipped the third block because it looks quite challenging but I will go back and work on it soon. ;)

Lend and Borrow - Block 2
Quaker Pride - Block 4

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

A New Quilt

Even though I am determined to use up a lot of my 2.5" hsts I have decided to change it up a bit this time. :) I got this book several months ago and I love the patterns in it. I have been drooling over the postage stamp quilt on the cover but there are other great patterns inside as well that I want to make. The American Patchwork and Quilting magazine came from the donation table at my Guild and I picked it up sometime last spring. The quilt on the cover is called Weaving the Rails and it was designed by Kathie Holland.

Both of these quilts require strips that are 1.5" wide. I cut some fabric for the rail fence quilt quite awhile ago so I already have several stacks of strips ready but there is certainly not enough variety. I just pulled another stack of fabric from my stash and I will start cutting more strips from it over the next couple days. With these scrappy quilts the more variety the merrier. :)

Now that I have the Go Studio it really doesn't take much time or effort to do this bulk cutting. I think it will take more time to press the folds out of the fabric than it will take to cut the strips. :)

Several months ago I made a couple test blocks for the rail fence quilt so I think I will start with it. The pattern calls for a combination of light, med and dark fabrics but looking at my stack of strips I see that I have more of the light and the dark. It just might be an excuse for some stash enhancement but I will see what I can get out of my stash first.

A new beginning is always so much fun!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

I Couldn't Help Myself

Gay from Sentimental Stitches is hosting a new Block of the Month and it seems that I have jumped right in. Gay will be releasing the patterns on the first of the month for 14 months and at the end we will have a wonderful quilt. Seems like a good idea to me!

I am pleased with the way my blocks turned out - even this challenging one -

Surprisingly, I was able to completely piece it by machine without too much difficulty at all. :)

The quilt we are making is based on a quilt called Cheddarback and it is named that for obvious reasons. ;) Use this link to pop on over to see the quilt and just try to resist the temptation. The patterns are free for one month after they are posted.

My first set of blocks were quite enjoyable to make. I dug through my bin of reproduction fabric scraps to find just the right ones for my blocks. That was an adventure in itself and I almost got lost in there - so many small but wonderful scraps. I had been buying grab bags of reproduction scraps from Homestead Hearth and I was getting quite a nice collection but they don't seem to have them anymore - too bad. :(

I haven't decided what I will use for my sashing, cornerstones or binding yet. I popped into my LQS on Thursday but, unfortunately, they really didn't have anything suitable.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Crumb Strips

Scrap Block top is waiting for backing and quilting :)
When I posted about designing my scrap block quilt I showed some crumb strips that I was thinking about using as a border.

In the end, I didn't use them for that quilt but they have been on my mind since then. I made most of these crumb strips around the time that I made my Crumby Kisses quilt which was finished in October 2017 and I have worked on them off and on since then.

Crumby Kisses
I have accumulated quite a few and there are probably already enough to make at least one quilt now. I sewed them into pairs and put some of them on the design wall to have a look and if you ask me they look fabulous. :)
making me smile
I've got the itch to make more of these strips so I have set up my Janome 6600 as a crumb station and I am making quite the mess. I have ideas to use these little treasures in a few quilts so I do need a lot more. :)

Sometimes I sew these strips on paper and other times I just use the strip of paper as a guide and go with the flow and wing it. I can get fairly accurate strip sizes using both methods and they generally just need a bit of trimming to get to the correct size.

When I do use paper to sew on I find that for some reason it catches on the table top and then it twists as I am sewing. I have solved the problem by using my Supreme Slider to cover the table and the front of the bed of the sewing machine and it is working out great. Nice and smooth!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Blind Man's Fancy is a Flimsy

I can't believe that I have this top finished and ready for quilting. In order to add the borders and make them fit I needed to trim the top to size and it was a bit scary. As you know, once you start cutting you are committed and you can't just have a do-over! I was a bit nervous but I took extra care to make sure that I didn't take too much off.

I have two 20.5" square rulers and they really helped me to make sure that I was cutting the top equally on each side and that it was square. Before I started cutting I put one ruler in each corner and then connected them with other rulers to make sure everything was straight and aligned and equal on each side. I also used a measuring tape to make sure I was right at 70.5"and then I started cutting.

I repeated the process on the opposite side to make sure it was accurate as well. I didn't think about taking a photo of the process until I already had the quilt top finished - silly me. I did take this photo to try to recreate the process so you can see how I did it.
The blue borders finished at the exact required measurement!!
It all worked out and my top looks great! I have just enough of the blue fabric left to make another narrow border but if I did that then I would be tempted to add another border using the same fabric as the brown in the framing triangles. At 85" x 85" I think the quilt is big enough as it is so I have decided it is done. :)
I couldn't get the whole top into my photo :(
I don't have a name for my quilt yet - maybe something will come to me after I quilt it.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Preparing to Add Borders

I am feeling a bit insecure about what I am about to do because I don't want to make a mistake. I sewed all of the star blocks into 4 strips and they each measure at 73.5" in length plus I have 4 corner blocks. My quilt top is currently 72" square and I want to add a narrow border between the two. Somehow I need to make it all fit properly. :)

My plan is to trim the top to 70.5" square and then add the narrow blue border to make up the difference in size. I am cutting the blue strips at 2" and they will finish at 1.5". That should add up to - hopefully the right size, grrrrrrrr, my brain is a jumble so I hope I got it right.

I am off to start trimming my quilt top ****nerve-wracking**** and then cut and add my narrow blue borders. If all goes well, fingers crossed, I plan to add the star border as well. :)

Monday, March 4, 2019

That Was Quick!

It really didn't take me too long to get these very scrappy blocks sashed and stitched into a flimsy. It sure makes quick work to have the blocks all made and ready and waiting to be turned into a quilt. It practically made itself!

I probably spent more time admiring them on the design wall than it actually took to sew the sashings on. ;)

This little quilt really has been such a 'feel good' quilt right from the beginning. :)

I have decided not to add the crumb border because I happen to like it just the way it is. The flimsy is currently 54" x 65" not large by any means but big enough to be a cuddle quilt. I just need to decide what I will use for the backing and then I can quilt it up.