Monday, September 30, 2019

Stringing Along in September, and a Finish

September seemed to fly by, what with the last of the garden harvest and canning, and changing over to autumn mode that I'd hoped would be more leisurely, though maybe October will be the start of that, who knows?

I made great progress on the 2019 Stringalong hosted by Lori at Humble Quilts.  There were extra batik rails left over from piecing last month's flimsy Joseph's Coat, and I had been hankering to use that piece of red/orange batik that was a runner-up for the alternate strippy panels on that first flimsy.  So I pieced a few more rails, cut some strippy panels and borders and came up with this.

I love the stained glass effect of a sunny fall afternoon, however when I brought it inside for another shot I was a bit disappointed in how the borders kind of faded away.  I'll need to be on the lookout for the perfect binding to punch it up just a bit.
This second flimsy measures 55x72 inches before quilting.  I'm thinking I'll give these two a quick machine quilting and keep them here.  I had originally begun piecing the first Joseph's Coat for a young girl known to one of our quilt ministry members, however the family seems to have moved from the area and haven't been heard from in a couple months.  The quilts are about a perfect size for the grandkids to use when they visit and are sleeping on air mattresses in the sewing room, or an adult napping on the couch.  Never can have too many utility quilts it seems!

Lest you think I've totally forgotten about Sing the Blues Mama Lou, not so!  I've been busy cutting and marking the final 80 quadrants and getting them ready for stitching the strings.  And here is the mess by the Singer 201 as I write this!
I have high hopes of completing the stitching of the strings in October and then begin assembling the blocks in November, or maybe January depending on progress on a couple other Christmas projects.

And finally, to finish off September, over the weekend the last stitches were put in the Swiffer Box quilt, and it is now done, washed, and ready for delivery to our grandson - yay!!   After the outside photo shoot in the back yard Sunday afternoon I wanted to call this one "the green, green grass of home" but I guess I'll stick with the original name.   Still need to make a special label for this one naming my grandson as  the block designer and color coordinator for the sashings and borders and me as the stitcher.  Finished size after a wash and dry is 67x52 inches.  I hope he likes it!

Linking to Lori's Stringalong Progress post here.  And a good Monday to all.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Monthly Mini - September

In cold inky skies
snow geese take wing southward as
golden sunset fades

This month's mini challenge began with a baggie of small scraps from a frequent donor of fabrics to our quilting ministry.  Included were some partially completed tiny flying geese.  Too small for any of our other quilters to be interested, they came home with me.  A couple of my own scraps for sashing and borders/binding, a bit of hand and machine quilting, and done.  Finished at 11-3/4 by 13-1/2 inches.

My August mini continues to languish simmer while I dither a bit more.  Maybe October will bring that one to completion?

I'll link to Wendy's (Constant Quilter) when she posts her monthly mini lineup for September.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Something New

For awhile now I've been wanting to make my son a Japanese-themed quilt, since he has been interested in all things Japanese since he was in junior high school.  Not really too surprising, since his great aunt had served in the Army for many years stationed in post-war Japan.  During that time she became quite an accomplished potter and had been acquainted with and studied under at least one Japanese master potter there.  Another great uncle had studied the art of bonsai and his back yard was filled with examples of his work.  Both of these relatives are now deceased.  We had also hosted a Japanese exchange student during one of my son's high school years, and my son has also studied some of the martial arts and had a great interest in collecting some Japanese swords - at least until his children began arriving.

Anyway, I decided this would be the year to make at least a small wall quilt in time for his birthday early next year.  I was lucky enough to find a used copy of the book Quilting with Japanese Fabrics by the late Kitty Pippen and it has become a treasured resource. Actually becoming a bit dog-eared with repeated readings - so much to learn!
Filled with photographs of Mrs. Pippen's gorgeous quilts constructed of vintage Japanese fabrics, topics covered include elements of Japanese design, descriptions of the types of fabrics produced in Japan and the long arduous process of indigo dying, traditional  sashiko designs, along with several detailed projects.  At this point probably my very favorite quilting book.

Last night I began drafting a fairly simple (I hope) design for this first quilt.  For the past few months I've been collecting some small pieces of Japanese yukata and other fabrics.  Here is the initial selection of potential fabrics for a small wall quilt (subject to further editing of course!).

And, to make things even sweeter, Saturday's mail delivery contained an envelope from Japan.  Cynthia of Wabi-sabi Quilts sent along these two sweet pieces of fabric, one a classic chrysanthemum print and the second a piece of blue tenugui with a fishing net design.  Thank you Cynthia!  The blue tenugui will be a beautiful accent fabric for this first quilt.  I plan to save the chrysanthemum fabric for another future project.

Til next time, enjoy this first day of fall!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Quirky Little Quilt Rack and the Swiffer Box Quilt

A week or so ago we wandered into a new-to-us little antique-vintage shop a few miles from home.  In our search for a chest of drawers for the spare bedroom (to hold quilts of course!) we also spotted this little rack.

I'll admit I'm always smitten with vintage racks, especially those with neat old metal hardware, the kind you just don't see in the hardware stores today, and with a wonderful patina.  This little beauty filled all the checkboxes in my wish list including its low price.  Is this not just the sweetest little thing?

My guess is that it began life as a towel holder from back in the day when one would find a large pitcher and bowl on a stand for washing up.  Whatever, it has found a new life here!

Standing a mere 30 inches high by 20 inches wide, it's just the perfect size for several small spots in our house, and perfectly sized to hold some of my little finishes from Lori's (Humble Quilts) Fall Sew-alongs.  This one is Country Roads from about five years back.

A week ago we visited my son and his family, and I took along the stitched-together blocks my grandson had created on the design wall when they were here a few weeks back.  The blocks were made from the bonus triangle squares made from the flippy corner cut offs in another quilt I finished last year.  Grandson arranged the blocks in the order he wanted them and decided he still liked the white-brown-black paisley as sashing.  He then chose a Paula Nadelstern print that I've had in my stash for quite a few years as his border.   Wonder if he expected the finished flimsy to turn out like this:

The only fabric I added was the green solid to give the eye a tiny break between the paisley and the border fabrics.  Oh yes, that paisley was a piece of wide leftover binding cut on the bias!  Yeah, bias sashings.

At this point I figured I might as well use up the two Nadelstern prints and piece together some sort of backing. That done I then found enough batting scraps to produce a Frankenbatt which seemed to somehow fit the general theme.

And we're down to just a few tiny pieces to add to the scrap boxes.  I'll pin the quilt on Tuesday and hopefully give it a quick machine quilting and binding by the end of the week.

Remember all those leftover/bonus triangle squares he so carefully placed on the design wall to create his center blocks?  Want to take a guess at the original quilt made with those fabrics?   Here 'tis, finished just about this time last fall.

Til next time, happy Monday and happy quilting!