Monday, July 2, 2018

Squirrel! A smaller finish

I probably shouldn't be calling this one a squirrel, cause I actually kind of like it, but .....

A week ago our group was given a big package of painted "quilt blocks" done by campers a few years back, and asked to make quilts from them for this year's auction.  Never mind that it's already July now, and there are probably nearly 200 of said blocks....

We won't be making quilts of all of them since the paint is heavily applied on many of them, and chipping off some of them, others are just blobs of green, brown, and black and blue.  But there are some that have possibilities, as long as we're not trying to actually "quilt" through those blocks.

So, I chose 20 of the blocks and gave them sashings with some recently donated fabric I had left over from another project (yet to be blogged about).  Added a couple borders from another box of donated fabrics, backed the whole thing with leftover pieces of wide backing which I've found to be a bit heavier than regular quilting fabric and hopefully more stable.  Then a quick quilting through all the sashings and borders, adding a machine binding, and voila, done!

More than a bit of wonk in these blocks - does that make them improv??

Finishing at about 46x47" this should be a good wall hanging size.  I don't think I'd want to go any larger with this, given the stiffness of the blocks from the paint and the chance of chipping off paint on the heavier-coated ones if the fabric is bent during quilting.

Anyway, these two blocks captured my imagination:
Fireflies!  Of which we have many this month!

Love these sponge-painted trees

And now it's back to the tedium of machine quilting those larger quilts that don't want to move through the machine in 90 degree high humidity weather.  Looks like we're due for another 5-6 days before this current heat wave breaks.  But we do have something to look forward to late this week when youngest daughter and our 18-month-old grandson arrive for the weekend!  

Happy stitching, picnicking, vacationing, and whatever makes you happy over this 4th of July week!


  1. You did an amazing job with these most difficult to work with blocks! It is too bad that the campers did not understand less paint is much more in the end. I have been thru this with painted blocks, so You are right not to add much stitching. You risk broken needle, throwing machine out of timing, bobbin jamming, etc.....The finished one looks wonderful!
    Yes, the heat is wearing us down, as most of the mid-to-east of the country. Have a great time with daughter and grand, I am looking forward to a day with cousins this week.

  2. That's the perfect size for the painted blocks. I hope your heat breaks soon. The humidity is the WORST!

  3. It makes a very different and interesting quilt. We had a thunderstorm this afternoon and now the humidity is not as high. We can finally go outside. Enjoy the holiday and stay cool. ;^)

  4. Well, good for you for taking on such a project! I can't imagine it was fun to work with those painted blocks. But you made it work, and used up some good donated fabrics at the same time. I think you did a great job! Quilting will be a bit of a bugger what with trying to work around the paint, but I'm sure you'll do your best. Have a great time during your family visit. I imagine you'll have your hands full with a toddler into everything!

  5. You had a challenge and you made the most of it! Great finish. This will be a treasure for someone who was a part of the camp and wants to preserve the memories.

  6. There are some very creative young artists represented in those the fireflies! I saw a few in our field about 2:30 in the morning when I was up the other night. They are getting harder to find. You certainly did a great job putting everything together and will be a memory keeper for someone. I agree...whether machine quilting or handquilting, when it is humid any needle just seems to get sluggish when going through the batting.

  7. What great work on these and while we have fireflies now and when my boys were little that block reminds me of chasing them as a kid at my grandparent's house..

    Then again there was the time that my middle son and friends captured a frog or toad and brought it into the house after feeding it a firefly and it was lighting up inside. Never a dull moment :)

    We call them 'lightning bugs' in Southwestern PA :)


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