Monday, July 6, 2015

Little quilts

The stack of blocks made as "leaders and enders" never seems to go down!  It is always fun to try to use some of them up, though.

I took some  9-patch blocks and some spool blocks and made them into two doll-sized quilts.

Three-inch 9-patch blocks with half-square triangles and plain blocks

Three-inch spool blocks with borders

These went together quickly  -- it is easy when the blocks are already made!  I quilted them simply and they are ready for wrapping around some beloved dolls or stuffed animal friends.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Pot holders

I just spent an afternoon making a pair of potholders.  They are good potholders.  Well-made, sturdy, functional.    I took my time with them. I carefully chose favourite fabrics from my scraps and put a double layer of cotton batting inside them.  I used a stitch-and-flip method that let me construct both sides at the same time.  I bound them neatly.

They will be given as a gift to a young couple who are getting married this summer. 
Scrappy potholders

I am sure these potholders will not match anything in the bride’s kitchen.   I did not ask what colours she might like or what style of decorating she is using. The two potholders are not the same colours -- they are not even the same colours on both sides! 

Since they don’t match the bride’s kitchen – or worse – look like they were SUPPOSED to match but failed! – she isn’t going to be too concerned about them.  She won’t hang them on the wall to keep them looking nice.  When she moves from this home to her next one she won’t find that they are no longer right and can no longer be hung on the wall so they have to be stuffed into a drawer somewhere.  Until yet another move comes along and she wants to get rid of them in a yard sale but is afraid to because the person who made them (she will have long since forgotten who it is) might come along and see them in the sale and be offended.

No, these potholders are so obviously not made to coordinate with her d├ęcor.  So I hope she will hang them on a hook near the stove and use them.   They will help her take trays of cookies and pans of roasted vegetables out of her oven.  They will get splattered with bacon fat and the edges will be stained with pasta sauce and she will throw them in the laundry.  One day she will look at these potholders and realize that there are holes burnt in them, and stains that will no longer come out and she will decide that they are totally gross and she will drop them into the trash.  That is good -- they will have served their purpose and she won’t have to move them from place to place.

Today as I sat happily stitching the squares and strips together to make these potholders I worked in my love and prayers for Kirsten and John.  The potholders will wear out, but even when the potholders are long gone, the prayers will remain, and that is far more important. 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Spring Cleaning Challenge

So what’s a quilter to do?  The UFO list runneth over, several group challenge deadlines are approaching quickly, a stack of tops for donation quilts cry out for batting/backing/quilting/binding. 

And then Electric Quilt posts their Spring Cleaning Challenge.

I was strong and resisted for a couple of weeks.  Then decided that it certainly couldn’t hurt to simply download the files and LOOK at the projects. 

Doomed!  Of course, looking at the projects led to playing with the projects (just to see what would happen if….)

And that of course led to my most recent finish.

Here is my Peekaboo Pinwheels top using the “Scrappier” layout.
Peekaboo Pinwheels

I do have a complaint, however.  The instructions clearly said this would help “use up” scraps.  It definitely did USE some scraps – I stopped counting at 50 different fabrics, and some of them were very old  – but USE UP?  Not that anyone could tell by looking at what remains!

Update on June 1
I received a very nice email from the folks at Electric Quilt to tell me that my entry was one of the winning ones!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

In the mailbox

Look what has arrived!
Quiltmaker July/August 2015

And guess whose quilt appears on the Spotlight page just inside the back cover!

The quilt was made for Scrap Squad 2014 and you can read all about it on Quiltmaker’s blog here.  But you will want to check out the magazine, too!!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Group project rail fence

When the Sew Scrappy Club members celebrated the coming of summer with a Sew Day recently, they worked on many different projects, but they also found time to contribute blocks to a group project. 

We constructed six inch Rail Fence blocks using 2.5” strips.  Each person used white fabric for one of the edge strips in her strip sets.  When we pooled our blocks and put them up on the wall we had colourful rails like this:

8_group project rails blocks

Once all the blocks were constructed we divided our arrangement into three sections and with only a little re-arranging in the corners of the layouts we produced this set of tops the perfect size for Preemie Quilts for the NICU at our regional hospital.

8_group project rails top38_group project rails top1



8_group project rails top2










Monday, May 11, 2015

Audition time

The Leaders and Enders project is coming together nicely.  It is on my design wall while I consider borders.

blog audition border

The original plan was to add the strip-pieced triangles in the corners, like those on the top right.  But I also like the way that the plain corner emphasizes the “on-point-ness” of the blocks.  Decisions, decisions.  Luckily, there are no wrong answers, just different ones.  At some point I will choose pieced corners or plain corners and get those borders sewn in place.

It was fun to watch the fabrics come together.  There are some very old fabrics.  The spool print in this block is from the 1950s.  The sweet pink beside it was used in a baby quilt for a child who is now in university. 

blog spool fabric


On the other hand, the black swirl was a fabric I purchased last year for a Scrap Squad quilt.


blog fabrics


With this quilt top nearly ready for the to-be-quilted pile, it is time to decide on another project for leaders-and-enders.  A bin of two-inch squares is at hand…..

Monday, April 6, 2015

The other side of the quilt

blog flannel strips
Many of our donation quilts are backed with flannel. The trimmings from the edges of the quilts accumulate and a person really should do something with them!  The pieces are mostly strips several inches wide, sometimes wider.

I try to make use of these for the backs of small baby quilts.  Sewing strips together is a fairly efficient use of time and materials.    Sewing strips together uses materials -- and time -- fairly efficiently.


But even when the pieces are too small to sew together quickly it can be hard to simply discard them.  A few hours of one’s time can produce a backing like this:
blog flannel pieced blocks
Composing the individual blocks and watching them take shape can be great fun!  Of course, one might wonder how practical it is to devote time to constructing the equivalent of a yard of fabric that could be purchased for just a few dollars! 
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