Friday, March 2, 2018

Warm waters

Somewhere in the last couple of days it got to be March! March is the month that winter turns into spring, which makes it a great month.  It tends to be windy and rainy, but I don't even care-- spring is coming! The fact that I have a daughter born in March has absolutely nothing to do with my current affection for this month, I swear.

To ring in the new month, I have finished the warm-colored Regatta quilt! If it's going to be warm, we might as well have warm colors, right?

Aren't those colors happy? If you recall, I had an old Kona solids jelly roll that I wanted to use up, and I separated it into warm colors and cool colors to make two small Regatta quilts.  (The cool-colored Regatta is HERE.)  These will be donations for the Hands to Help Challenge run by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  The Challenge hasn't officially started yet, but I know that if I don't do this now I might never do it, and I really wanted to make these to donate. I think they'll keep until it's "officially" time to mail them in.

My Regatta quilts are smaller than the original and use only one of the jelly roll strips per row.  Because my quilt is smaller, I only used three "steps" instead of four.  I spaced these at 10, 14, and 18 inches, which worked out just fine for me.

This little quilt finished at just about 40 by 45, which is a little smaller than I wanted. I really disliked the pinked edges of the strips, so I cut those all off this time.  This made the strips 2-1/4 instead of 2-1/2, which shrunk the quilt by almost 6 inches in length.  It's still a nice size for a child, though.  Maybe a younger child than the other quilt, but I think it will still work out okay. You can see the size difference in this picture:

I also did this one quilt-as-you-go style, which worked out great, and then I used the leftover strips from the jelly roll as binding.  The binding is a little wide, but I'm calling that a design choice. I just didn't feel like trimming the jelly roll strips down. I cut each of the strips in half for the binding so that there is more variation around the quilt edge. Finishing these two little quilts means that there were only 4 strips left from the jelly roll, and I've recycled those into the Monet's Wedding Ring quilt.  This means the roll is gone and mostly used! Hurray!

Because the fronts of these quilts are mostly solids with small prints, I put a fun print on the back of this one:

It's a little bit girly, but there is a lot of pink on the front of the quilt, so that's probably okay.

I really like how this quilt (and it's twin) turned out and I would definitely make them again.  The pattern would also lend itself to a bunch of variations, including making a "chunky" version using wider strips.  In THIS post, Janine used pieced hearts instead of squares in a doll quilt! That would look so cute on a larger quilt.  Wish I had thought of it before I pieced those strips.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend.  I have managed to dodge the digging for one more weekend and am having an adventure for a few days.  Can't even tell you how excited I am about it! 

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, crazymomquilts, and Finished or Not Friday.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Trimming in the rain

You know, friends, it is a *lot* wetter here on the East Coast than it is in the Midwest.  Seriously, it rains much more often here.  I know it's snowing in many parts of the Midwest, but it's not the same.  This is not a bad thing, really, because it means lots of flowering green things are coming.  And it also means. . . I did not spend last weekend digging trenches!  You can dig trenches in the rain, but it tends to make the trench collapse, so it's pretty much a wasted effort.  Count me as a major fan of rain!

Since we had nothing planned for the weekend except digging trenches, *and* it was raining, I spent a bunch of time doing things that I really should have taken care of a long time ago.  You know, throwing out all the old shampoo bottles, cleaning under the bottom drawer in the refrigerator, and taking care of all this:

Yes, it's not that pretty a picture, but this is the pile of scraps I tackled this weekend.  This is everything that was in the basket next to the cutting table where I throw all my cut-offs when I'm working on things.  I know I should cut them up just as soon as I'm done, but somehow that doesn't happen. No idea why. I've gotten really good at pushing them down in that basket until it's really full (and heaping!)  This weekend was a good opportunity to haul that full basket onto the table and finally get a handle on it.

So I spent several hours-- with frequent breaks!-- cutting up the scraps and ended up with these pretty piles:

These are 1-1/2 inch, 2-inch, and 2-1/2 inch squares, plus a bunch of strings in the front.  I promise that none of those strings is less than an inch wide! I am really, really proud of myself for persevering and getting those all cut up.  It doesn't look like much but it takes a long time to cut those up. Of course, a lot of water was falling from the sky, so it was not a real sacrifice.  And look what else I got out of the scraps in that basket:

A bunch of bindings! These are from the cut-off pieces from the backings of several quilts.  These make great bindings.  Some of them look short, but they're all at least 60 inches long, and the gold one is enough for a 65-inch square quilt.  Not that I have one of those right now, but I might someday.

At the very bottom of the basket were two collections of scraps that I had kept together, so I didn't cut these up and mix them with the others.  Here's the first collection:

I think my taste in fabric has really changed, because I really don't want to use these for anything.  They're plenty pretty, but I am not motivated.  I remember making the quilt these are from, and I don't have it any more.  I'm too frugal to just toss these out, so I'll bet they end up in a donation quilt some time soon.  The others destined for the same fate are these:

Yep, they're not tripping my trigger either.  If you have any good ideas, I'd love to hear them!

The last things I worked on in the rain were these:

These are a whole bunch of half square triangles that were either left over  from projects, never made it into projects, or were the wrong size.  I squared them up to standard sizes and they are now ready to use.  I don't have a project for them, and they're different sizes, but hey--when a project comes along, I'm ready!

All in all, the last few days have been good and relaxing.  It's nice to look at that basket all nice and empty, plus I have some bags of those squares that are getting pretty full.  Soon it will be time to look for a project to use those up.  And the mostly empty shampoo bottles are gone now, too.

Hope you're all having a good week and are enjoying the last day of Fenruary.  Hard to believe March is here already!

Sharing at Let's Bee Social and Oh Scrap!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Deeply purple

(For those of you who are interested, there is a scrap giveaway at the end of this post!)

Hi all, and welcome to the end of another busy week!  February is the shortest month, but right now it feels so looooong.  I know that you know what I mean! February is what makes March look so good.  I am ready for green and growing things, aren't you?  And so looking forward to some fresh tomatoes too.  Soon!

This week, I was super-busy, so I didn't get a lot of sewing time.  And I was on such a roll for a while there! Instead I focused on finishing up my purple scrap projects so I could feel like I had made some progress.  Sometimes that's just what you need to make the week feel like a success, you know?  Here are my patchwork scrap stars:

This month I chose to make a pink star and a green one in the purple blocks.  I like how they turned out, plus I had 15 different purple scraps to use in the blocks.  I like purple, though, so it's not really a surprise.

I also made about a dozen of the little 4-1/2 inch 9-patches from my 2-inch squares:

I could have made more, but I just didn't feel like cutting more pieces, and a dozen sounds like a good number.

In 2016, I started Bonnie Hunter's En Provence quilt, and I haven't made a ton of progress on all the pieces. I love the quilt, though, and I want to use it in our guest room, so I really want to finish it. Since this was a purple scrap month, I decided to use it to finish making all of the purple pieces in the quilt:

I didn't get all of the purples finished, but I did finish off the 4-patches and the hsts, which felt like a real achievement to me because there were so *many* of them (and you know how much I like making 4-patches.)  I still have to make the triangle in a square units, but at least I've cut all the purple for those.  I only have the yellows and greens to finish after this.  I may actually finish this quilt this year!

So now I'm finished with my purple scraps for the month, and just like last month, I am giving away what's left in my purple scrap bin!  Here's what's up for grabs this month:

There are some nice-sized pieces here, but also a bunch of smaller ones, including some 2-inch strips and a few squares.  To fill out the envelope, I added some pieces from the dots and checks bin, along with a handful of 2-inch squares and also of 1-1/2 inch squares.  All together it's about 2 pounds of fabric.

I will send this scrap package off to one lucky winner for no charge at all.  All you have to do is leave a comment that says you'd like to have it.  That's all!  You can also leave a comment if you don't want it, just let me know.  I'll use the random number generator sometime on Sunday night (February 25) and send the fabric out next week.

This giveaway is now closed!   Thanks to all!

Hope you all have a great weekend!  Think of me, because we'll be doing a massive landscaping/drainage project that requires hand digging not just one but TWO trenches.  If you want to come help, I won't turn you away! And if you'd like some amusement, I'll try to remember to post some pictures on Instagram.  See you there!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or Not Friday, and soscrappy for RSC18.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Sharing some love

It isn't often that I have *four* quilts to show off at once, but today I do! A few weeks ago, Bernie at Needle and Foot announced a new service project to collect doll quilts for A Doll Like Me,  the project of a lovely person named Amy who makes specialty dolls for children who are not represented by currently-available dolls, because they have limb differences or other physical issues.  Who could resist such a fun, happy project, especially after reading Amy's story?  Not me, so here are the four little quilts I made to share:

As you can see, I have a helper to show off these doll quilts.  This was my older daughter's doll, which inexplicably still lives at my house.  Even though I'm an old person I still enjoyed bringing her out to play.  And she makes such a nice model!  All these pictures were taken on a rainy day, so they may be a little washed out, but I think their cheerfulness makes up for it.

Don't worry, these were washed after the photo shoot!

Each one of these deserves a small description of it's own, don't you think?  Let's start with this one:

Those of you who have made Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilts will recognize the units making up this little quilt.  I "adopted" these 4-patches from another quilter who gave up on making the quilt, then I didn't make the quilt either.  But I still had these units, so I put them on point and then cut some aqua setting triangles and made the little top.  I quilted it with aqua thread in a simple cross hatch.  It worked out great!  I love how the aqua and pink hsts seem to make little butterflies across the top.  This is the biggest quilt at about 23 inches square.

The blue and yellow quilt is very busy, but it works, somehow.  This was made from thrifted blocks that I didn't even know were in the bag of scraps until I emptied it. There were all the four-patches and a larger block that I used in the center, which you can see if you look carefully.  I actually like how it blends in so nicely. There was also a small piece of the yellow and an even smaller piece of the blue in the bag, so I was only able to use those on the sides.  This little quilt was also quilted in a cross hatch with yellow thread. It finished at about 18 by 22.

Next is the applique quilt.  I made this applique panel years ago in a class about machine applique.  This was supposed to be a center with pieced blocks around it, but you can see what happened there. I promise that all of the pieces are very securely attached!  The panel was actually bigger, and I cut it down to about 20 by 23, then echo quilted the background and quilted in a bunch of details on the flowers and leaves.  I'm actually really thrilled with how this turned out and  hope some little person really loves it.

Finally, this might be my favorite little quilt!  Super-cute ninjas!  Because you know, not all little girls like flowers and such, and some little boys might need quilts, too. I made this one as a quilt-as-you-go strip quilt and it's the only one of the four that actually uses all new fabrics. The size was limited by the ninja piece, so it finished at 18 by 20, which is the smallest of the quilts, but is still a good size for the dolls.  Especially if the doll is particularly fierce!

The backings for these quilts were all small pieces that I had in my stash, and all except the ninjas got a floral backing.  Flowers just seemed wrong for those tiny warriors.

Each of the quilts also has a machine binding, so they can be washed over and over again.  I did have kids of my own, and I remember how much laundry was involved! All of the bindings except the black one came from my basket of bindings made from leftover off-cuts from backings and small pieces, too.

I also made a few hospital gowns to go along with the quilts, using THIS free pattern.

These are much more stylish than real hospital gowns and were easy enough to make.  I even made my own bias binding for the necks and ties, but only because I was too lazy to go to the store.  They will certainly make hospital visits a little more fun, for both the dolls and for their owners.

I had a lot of fun making these little quilts and am thrilled to send them on to some tiny humans to go with their special dolls.  I quilted all kinds of good thoughts into these little quilts and I packed those thoughts and some prayers into the box with them as I sent them winging on their way to Amy.  If you are in need of a feel-good project, consider making up a few little quilts or gowns.  Nothing but good can come from it!

Hope all of you have a lovely weekend.  I am probably not sewing much this weekend, but I am strongly considering making brownies as we will have rain today, snow on Saturday, and then rain again on Sunday.  I'll need the brownies to keep my spirits up!

Sharing at crazymomquilts, Confessions of  Fabric Addict, Finished or Not Friday, and Oh Scrap!