Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Building Blocks and Bonus Points

Sometimes quilting is a lot like building with blocks, and that's the way this past week has gone. It must be nearly two years ago that I worked on these blocks

and now we're on to constructing the pieced blocks, beginning with these stacks of 5-1/2 inch sub-units involving what seems a never-ending number of HSTs.

All of which will eventually (hopefully this weekend) build the central medallion of this top:
photo from Quilt Sampler Fall 2010

My bonus points?  These piles of HST units created with the cut-offs from all the sew-and-flip portions of the 5-1/2 inch units! 

This top will end up providing me with several hundred of these bonus HST's that will trim to two inches and finish at 1-1/2 inches.  There are 200 so far and I haven't even begun to put the borders together. Off-hand, I'm thinking the border units will yield another 120-150. Oh, the possibilities!

Monday, January 15, 2018

What's Old is New

This past week has been one roller-coaster weather-wise, with near 60 degree days, a fast snowmelt followed by a couple inches of rain, flooding, then a huge temperature drop with freezing rain and around 10 inches of snow!  Definitely days to stay indoors by a warm sewing machine with a hot latte for this gal!  So, what have I accomplished while all the mayhem was going on outdoors?

Last fall my blogging friend Janet gifted our quilt ministry with a big box of scraps from a friend of hers who was destashing.  Included in the box were many small pieces, some fat quarters, and a few larger pieces ranging up to a yard in size.  Many, many small country and reproduction prints, some nearly vintage, in a variety of darker colors with a few lights/brights thrown in.  Perfect for a couple large scrappy quilt tops I thought. 

One of our ministry projects is the donation of several quilts to a nearby church camp supported by several local churches.  The auction is held Labor Day weekend, a busy time, right in the midst of canning season, so starting this year's big quilt now seemed like a good idea.  And that box of fabrics has been beckoning me to come and play for a couple months now!  Next came finding a suitable scrappy pattern to do those fabrics justice.  Searching through several magazines I spotted this photo.  I love the scrappiness of the larger quilt shown here!
photo from Quilt Sampler, Fall-Winter 2011

The featured quilt in the above photo is called Second Hand Clothes by Bonnie Blue Quilts. Studying it a bit more closely I discovered that it is essentially the same design as the antique quilt featured on the cover of this Barbara Brackman book, that was the inspiration for my camp auction donation quilt made last summer.

So interesting to compare the two, how varying the scale of the blocks, controlling the scrappiness, and a use of a constant background block in the antique version produced two very different looks. 

So, I'm going to make the same quilt as last year for the auction, and drafted a smaller size block to better fit the size of the donated fabric scraps.  This is such a fun and easy quilt to make, and since I'm up to my ears in HST's for two other ongoing projects at the moment, simple squares and rectangles look mighty enticing at the moment!  After several days of cutting up those scraps, I have enough pieces for two queen size tops all bagged up and ready to stitch.  I had to raid my stash for a few pieces to round out the light fabrics needed, but all of the mid and dark tones and some of the lights are from that lovely donated box.  And guess what? After all that cutting, that box is STILL nearly full!  The gift that keeps on giving - gotta love that!

And, this morning I finally had a chance to sit down and stitch a few of the puss in the corner blocks, and threw them up on the design wall to get an idea of how this is going to look. 
Yes!  This is going to be great fun!  The plan is to stitch a few blocks every day, between working on other projects, and hopefully have the top ready for quilting in a month ... or two ...   I'll wait until all the blocks are laid out before deciding on a color range for the setting triangles.

I've also had some evenings in the last couple weeks to dig out this project and make a few more of the little baskets.  They really are fun to hand stitch, well maybe except for that bit of reverse applique on the ones with the cut-out.  Hopefully I can keep a bit of momentum going on this project that had sat untouched since last January. 

And that's it from my little corner of the world. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

First Friday, First Finish

I finished up the fire victims' quilt late this afternoon, a great way to end the first week of the year! Here it is all washed and fluffed, and laid on the guest bed to finish drying.

For a quick quilt I'm happy with the way this one turned out, a mix of ditch and undulating stitch machine quilting, and the binding was attached by machine.  Hopefully it will be durable enough for the inevitable laundromat visits as these folks are in temporary housing for the time being.

A closer look, showing a bit of the quilting and back

Trying to spend some of each evening this week getting back into hand quilting again, plus a bit of needleturn applique.  Taking everything moderately as it seems the carpal tunnel issue is moving in with a vengeance.  I'm hoping as these bone-chilling days begin to moderate a bit that the wrist will also feel a little better.   Not looking forward to an enforced hiatus from my sanity time each day!

I hope you all are keeping warm and safe from the storms.