Scrap Dance Pachanga Revealed

Scrap Dance Pachanga 2021 is a mystery quilt designed by Carole Carter. She hosts the mystery on her blog, From My Carolina Home. This past Friday Carole revealed the B block and the layout for the mystery.

I’ve been sharing my progress all along here on my blog, but thought you might like a recap.

I started with the fabric pulled to use for the project. Most came from my scrap storage, with only a couple of fat quarters getting thrown in for variety. I did cut yardage for the white background of my units.

More bright colors for Scrap Dance Pachanga
Brights for the next Scrap Dance

Twice a month since January directions were given for various block elements. We have made 2 patches

Clue # 3 Scrap Dance Pachanga

and then 4 patches

4 patches Scrap Dance Pachanga

And then there were the flying geese and half square triangles big and small.

Elements of Scrap Dance Pachanga

Last month we assembled the “A” block using some of the elements.

Block A Scrap Dance Pachanga 2021
A Blocks

And with the release of the B block on Friday I got busy laying out the block, ready to sew.

Having all the elements already made is terrific when it comes time to assemble the blocks. I do have to admit that I wasn’t happy with my fabric for the center of the B blocks. Below are the original blocks I made for the small half square triangles that make up the center 4 patch –

small half square triangles PACHANGA

I decided I needed “more variety” when it came time to assemble the block, so stopped and made MORE of the half square triangles from a variety of bright fabric I had held aside. I am quite pleased with the outcome.

B Block
B Block Scrap Dance Pachanga

Once I made those extra half square triangles, it was fairly easy to assemble the B Block, and I had most of them on the design wall by Saturday morning. I hope you can see that adding more variety to the fabric for the centers of the B block make the quilt more interesting. It is always fun to start seeing the pattern come to life as you place the blocks on the design wall. The first thing I saw was the secondary pattern that the B block introduced.

3 B blocks to go
A & B layout

I did a little shopping on Saturday afternoon and happened to find a fabric at Hobby Lobby, that I think will make a nice border and maybe the backing. It is brighter than the photo, but does read PINK to me. It has the greens, blues and yellows in it as well and I think it will be a nice finishing touch to the quilt. I prewashed it, and now I have 4 yards to iron!

border fabric
border fabric

Now all I have left to do is put on a narrow white border, and get that border fabric ironed and cut and put on. I think I will go for a 2 or 2.5″ white border and then a 6″ multi color border.

Here is what the top looks like before the borders are attached. It’s a nice throw size now at 48×60.

Scrap Dance Pachanga 2021 throw size
Scrap Dance Pachanga 2021

I love the way the B Block makes a run of “arrows” across the quilt. The A Block almost looks like it is floating on the white background. I find it very visually appealing, and it may be my “favorite” Scrap Dance project so far!

If you like this pattern, it is not too late to download the elements at Carole’s blog, but hurry. It is a free mystery quilt for her readers, for now. After a short period of time, the free pattern usually comes down and becomes a pattern for sale later on.

Did you “dance along” with Scrap Dance Pachanga this year? If so, what did you use for background fabrics? Do you like mystery quilts?

Edit – forgot to mention I am linking up today to OH SCRAP – If you have never visited, go check out the “linky party” and see what other scrap lovers are doing .

Playing with Scraps

This has been a lovely relaxing sewing week, playing with two scrap projects.

I worked on Step 7 of the Scrap Dance Pachanga Mystery quilt from Carole’s blog, From My Carolina Home. Steps come out on the 2nd and 4th Friday of the month, so I was a few days late getting mine done. This was an easy step for me as I love making half-square triangles. Some people don’t but I do. I like that they are sized enough to “trim” easily. I use the June Tailor Perfect Quarter Square/Half Square triangle ruler when I make mine.

small half square triangles PACHANGA

We now have quite a collection of elements for this mystery quilt, but still have many pieces left for future “steps”.

Steps 1-7 Scrap Dance Pachanga

I am resisting the urge to play with the elements. Banished to the basket to await the next step coming at the end of this week!

I continued to play with the scrap basket that I took on vacation. I have made quite a few more “Traffic Jam” blocks. This time I picked the 2.5″ squares out of my never ending basket and put together lots of combinations. I’m up to 24 blocks made. I had to “trim” these blocks to 12″ as some of the ones done on vacation were a tad “wonky”. I think some of that had to do with 2.5″ squares that didn’t quite measure up, or fat seam allowances.

Traffic Jam blocks
Traffic Jam blocks

The pattern is available on Pat Sloan’s website for free. I love doing scrappy quilts. I also like to see what others have done with the sashing and borders on Pat’s website. If you take a look you will see all different ways this block is finished off into a quilt. I haven’t quite decided how I am going to sash it, but I am gathering ideas.

I am using a bit of the Bonnie Hunter scrap saver system for my bits and pieces. I seem to have a lot of scraps that need to be “cut up” into that system, but I am lazy about doing it. My sewing space has gotten cluttered and it is time for a bit of “clean up”. Do you save scraps for projects? How do you collect and store them?

Edit — forgot to add this — Linking up to OH SCRAP! If you like to work with scraps, check out all the fun things others are sharing there!

Autumn Jubilee 2020 Quilt Along update

Last time I posted about the Autumn Jubilee Quilt Along was when I was working on the pumpkin row (https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2020/10/24/pumpkins-and-fall-fun/ ) . About a week later, Carole published the assembly information on her blog From My Carolina Home, and I got busy assembling my rows in the specified order, with sashing in between the rows and a surrounding border.

Row quilt for #Autumn Jubilee 2020
First round of borders on

At this point with the project, the only “yardage” cut was the fabric I used for the TREE row, and for the sashing/borders. The sashing has a wonderful little golden dot, which went nicely with the fall colors. I do get inspired by nature when picking fabrics for projects.

Fall in Delaware
November 10, 2020

Nature was slow to show me the colors this year on my favorite tree. We had some lovely warm days (and lots of bike riding) so it was hard to focus on the “next step” on the Autumn Jubilee quilt. I decided that I wanted to do something a bit different than what the pattern called for so I measured the quilt, and contacted my sister in law, Carolyn. She makes the BEST borders!! So, I sent along details and this is what she suggested –

test block
Square in a Square block, using the JODI BARROWS tool.

I did a “test block” and then got busy sewing. The fabric for the 4 patches came right out of my scrap saver baskets, already cut to size. The outer fabric, is the same as the border and sashing fabric. I knew I did not have enough to do all the blocks I would need for the border, so I went with scrappy neutrals, cutting strips from my bin of neutral fabrics.

I spent an afternoon making a stack of 4 patches first, then working in small batches to turn them into Square in a Square blocks.

units for the border

We had several days of rain where I did not even go to the sewing room, but when I finally got back out there, I trimmed my blocks and made 4 strips for borders.

Making the border units

Making sense of trying to fit my blocks to an existing project, I followed the steps Carolyn outlined in her blog – https://oneblockwonderwoman.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/camping-quilt.jpg

Carolyn was kind to work with me on the “quilt math” on Saturday, and we came up with similar numbers for the border that goes on between the dot border and the square in a square blocks. At one point I confused myself, and resorted to drawing out the picture of what was going where, and that helped my little brain. Turns out, I do this all the time, as I flipped back through the little 5×7 notebook I keep in the sewing room. I am a visual person and the numbers have to make sense.

drawing it out

She reminded me to “dry fit” everything before stitching. That was great advice.

I settled in to work on these borders yesterday afternoon and was quite pleased with the results.

Side borders going on

So far, everything was fitting well. By the end of the afternoon I had the pieced border on and everything fit as Carolyn had predicted.

Autumn Jubilee 2020 row quilt

At this point, the quilt is 67 x 74. Oversized throw I think. And, for the moment, I am “DONE”. I have to think about it for a bit and decide if it gets another border or not. (It is a bit “odd sized” at this point….and I never answered the question Carolyn asked about “how big” was I planning to make this or what what I planning to do with it?)

I really enjoyed this project working on a weekly basis making a row quilt.

What’s happening in your sewing room? Are you inspired by nature in your color selections? How big is “big enough” for a throw size quilt? Would you scale this up for a queen size quilt? Inquiring minds want to know.

Pumpkins and fall fun

Friday was the final row for the #AutumnJubilee2020 quilt along. The block was a pumpkin block. Pattern can be found at https://frommycarolinahome.com/2020/10/23/autumn-jubilee-quilt-along-week-4-updated/

If you read the pattern, then look at my pumpkins, you will see I went my own way with the block. I had LOTS of great oranges and golds in my scraps in varying widths, so I just went for an alternate look. These were pretty fast to assemble. Hubby and I went out to the sewing/train room after supper, and these were done in a couple of hours.

pumpkin row
Pumpkin row – click the photo for a close up view of the fabrics

While I was sewing, I had an audio book running on my phone, plugged into my computer speakers. Hubby, sitting ’round the corner’ at his model train work bench was listening to the book and I had to stop to give him the highlights of the previous 50 chapters…..Apparently he likes the writing style of David Baldacci. The book was called “Simple Truth” and was downloaded from our local library using the LIBBY app to my phone. Hubby enjoyed the last 12 chapters while he worked on his two passenger trains that needed lots of “interior” detail. He raided my scraps and found bits of fabric that he could use for wall paper and carpet inside this passenger train. This is an HO scale train.

on the workbench
click on the photo for a close up

It was a fun way to round out a nice fall day. We had an outing in the afternoon to a state park about 12 miles away. It is our “go to” place to bike ride since there is “sighno where closer we can safely ride. (That’s a long story and I spent my morning advocating for permission for bikes to be allowed at a new sports complex in town – a battle that meets with as much community support as with busy know it all’s telling me off.) I needed a break from the computer and FRESH AIR to clear my head. Hubby is a good sport, and agreed to go along.

He loaded up the bikes on the SUV and we drove the 12 miles on country farm roads to the state park and had a beautiful outing.

Bikes at the pond
Relaxing at the end of the ride

The trails we ride are mostly in the woods with a few peeks at the water, but we like to stop and enjoy the view periodically during the ride. It’s not a race, every pedal turn is towards better health and fun!

fall view at the pond
Leaves are starting to turn in Sussex Co Delaware

There is a wonderful spot almost at the end of the ride to stop and just take in the view of the water. There is a spillway close by so you get some wonderful sound effects.

Missing the water
Trap Pond State Park Delaware

I use an app to track my mileage when riding, and apparently I have ridden here enough in the last 90 days to be the “local legend” for a segment of the trail! ‘that’s so funny….this ol’ fat grandma, a legend!!!” I laugh every time I look at that. My ride times in the last 90 days are widely variable, depending if I am riding with my daughter, or with the grandkids, or with grandpa, as I did today. My daughter is a regular rider and she has no problem taking the trails at speeds up to 10 mph pulling her toddler in a pull behind trailer. When I take grandkids, the younger one has a hard time keeping up with the bigger kids on their bigger bikes. (They have much bigger wheels and she has to pedal twice as much!) Hubby is patient about going with me and I like to stop for his benefit periodically. We need to get his handlebars adjusted slightly, but seem to forget by the time we get home.

Seriously though, the “local legend” is something new in the app and it is a rolling 90 day “count” for the number of times you have ridden the same route. I like to keep track of the distance for the ride, but the rest doesn’t really matter. I was there, I know I enjoyed the fresh air, and the bugs didn’t bother us in the woods if we kept moving. Good fun for both of us. We won’t earn any medals for speed or time, but we do enjoy just being out on the bikes.

So, between the beautiful trails, the changing leaves and the pumpkin quilt blocks, I would call it a wonderful Autumn day.

What’s on your sewing table or work bench this weekend?

Another Row for Autumn Jubilee 2020

It is fun to get up on Friday morning and find a new “row” for the Autumn Jubilee 2020 quilt along happening at the blog – From My Carolina Home – https://frommycarolinahome.com/2020/10/16/autumn-jubilee-quilt-along-week-3/

I had fun after dinner on Friday night pulling the fabrics for each of the 5 blocks. It really doesn’t take very much and I was able to get what I needed out of some small pieces, partially used fat quarters and a few strips left in my containers. I even used up some of those background blocks left over from my “indecision” last week with the trees.

My first block finished is my “feature fabric” from the row of trees that were row # 2.

Leaf block for AJ 2020
Small print leaf fabric

I mixed up the background fabrics in this group of blocks since I was using the “same” fabrics for the actual leaf. (Gotta get my scrappy look!)

The second block was a much larger print fabric.

getting the leaves made

Sewing progressed pretty well. I chose an orange that is a bit of a tone on tone, and in hind sight, wish I had chosen a print. It just doesn’t pop like the other fabrics. Could just be the crummy lighting .

Green and orange

Up close it does look a bit better, as does the red with the gold print.

Red Yellow and brown

Overall, it didn’t take long to get the pieces cut and stitched and into a nice looking row.

Row # 3

Row three is complete for the Autumn Jubilee Quilt Along.

Ready for the next project. I was just thinking that I have 4 rows made (2 stars, 1 tree, 1 leaves) for the quilt along. I also have the embroidery blocks made for the Autumn Jubilee wall hanging, and the strip unit made for the bag. It will soon be time to start finishing some of these up. It’s not to late to start if you want to pop over to Carole’s blog and choose a project.

Are you quilting along with #AutumnJubilee2020? Or maybe you are stitching one of the wool projects or making pillow cases? Be sure to share on the Friends of From My Carolina Home facebook page.

Star Row Quilt-along Autumn Jubilee

Are you following along with #AutumnJubilee2020 on the blog – https://frommycarolinahome.com// ?? Each Friday in October there will be a “new” row to make for the Autumn Jubilee quilt-along.

Warning; lots of photo’s and a video ahead.

Many times in the years since I started following Carole at From My Carolina home, I have indicated that I keep a container of “Autumn Jubilee” fabrics/parts/pieces to take along to my quilt bees. It was quite easy to get started on Friday when the details were posted. My bin contains lots of big scraps, all the way up to fat quarters, plus some baskets of squares in Autumn colors and neutrals in various sizes used in previous years.

This week the STARS rows were quite easy to begin as my bin had a basket full of squares, already cut to size.

2.5 inch squares from the Autumn Jubilee tote.
Ready to go! 2 1/2″ squares and some 2 1/2″ HST
Sorting colors for 4 patches
Sorting colors for 4 patches

Do you have some favorite tools when working on small blocks? I do!

I like the wool pressing mat. This one is great for small units, 8″ square.

Wool mat
Stack of blocks ready to sew
Sets ready to be made into 4 patches.

The Gizmo and the wool mat are great when working with chain piecing and chain pressing. The Gizmo has a razor blade for separating your blocks. It is free standing and quick to use when you have a big chain. I received the GIZMO as a gift. I don’t know that I would have gone out to buy the GIZMO, but I think it is a pretty clever thing, and handy when you have a lot to cut apart. Faster that finding the snips.

Snipping the chain pieces

Having the squares already cut and ready to stitch made making the centers of the blocks quite easy, and in no time I had the number I need ready.

4 patches for the star centers

The pattern gives you specifics on the number of 4 patches and half square triangles(HST) you will need. I had about 1/3 of the HST already in the basket that were needed. In the same bin, I had another basket with the size I needed to make the remaining HST.

My favorite method is using the June Tailor Perfect Half Square/Quarter Square triangle ruler. Rather than try to explain the use, check out this great video on You Tube –

June Tailor Perfect Half-Square and Quarter Square Triangle Ruler

Using this ruler, I never hesitate when the pattern calls for lots of HST. I’ve used this ruler for about 10 years and it is one of my FAVORITE tools in my quilt room.

June Tailor Perfect HST QST Ruler
These two slots are for marking your stitching lines

The tape on the underside of the ruler is “medical tape” from the drugstore. It has little ridges on it and that really keeps my ruler from slipping around on the fabric.

Ready to cut
Another tool I use is my rotating Fiskars cutting mat

My 2nd favorite tool in my sewing room is the 12″ rotating Fiskars Mat. I have worn out the middle and it may be time to replace it soon. The slot with the dash lines is used to line up your stitches and cut the block in half.

Cutting the HST
quickly cut
Fast straight cuts using the cutting guide
Ready to square up

The slots in the center help you line up your HST for trimming and making them “PERFECT”. This is where I “wear out” my ruler, because I always seem to work in the same spot.

Perfect HST

It doesn’t take long to make a big stack of HST.

Ready to piece
Ready to sew

I stack up the pieces on my little rotating mat, making certain the points are all heading in the proper directing. This keeps me from having a wonky pointed star! As I shuffled the HST around, I kept reminding myself, “pointy part to the outside corner”. It does help to have the blog post up on the computer screen with a bigger view of the star too.

Seeing stars

It didn’t take long on Saturday afternoon to make the stars into blocks.

This afternoon I will add the sashing to the blocks and make the two rows.

Are you following along with #AutumnJubilee2020 ??

What are your favorite tools in your sewing room?

Time for Autumn Jubilee

Autumn is arriving around the USA. We are having periods of rain and much cooler temperatures in Delaware. Harvest decorations are going up, and I see pumpkins for sale at the local farm stands along with potted mums.

I got out my fall wreath and put it on the door last week. I purchased this handmade wreath at a fall festival in 2017 and I just love it. I added the little Halloween bat last fall.

Fall wreath

I inventoried my fall placemats and table runners. Turns out I have 15 fall placemats. (If you followed my blog for any period of time, you KNOW that I’ve had an ongoing bin of “Autumn” and I take it to my quilt bee when I don’t have a project to work on and I can pick up and carry on with these.)

Autumn Jubilee on the table
Autumn Jubilee placemats and table runner

Autumn Jubilee on the blog https://frommycarolinahome.com// is something I follow each year. Carole writes great quilt patterns that are easy to follow and shares fall recipes, decorating, wool projects and much more. There are going to be different projects and it looks like starting today a “quilt along”. I’m excited to get started.

If you follow along with Autumn Jubilee on Carole’s blog, be sure to enter to win some of those great prizes. She has some BIG sponsors and they have been generous! Use the link above or the button on the side of my blog. If you follow Carole, let her know how you found her page! She reads ALL the comments, and usually replies to each one, except during Autumn Jubilee when the volume is just too much. Join in on the conversations on the Facebook group she has linked too, where I am one of the moderators. And most of all…..share your photo’s of Autumn Jubilee inspired projects and tag the blogs. ūüôā

Do let me know what your favorite part of Autumn is?

Little project

Recently, I have been working on little things and enjoying a bit more time in my sewing room now that September has brought in some cooler temperatures. Hot summer days in the sewing room over the garage can be a bit much, and the pool is always enticing me to goof off. The last few nights have been in the 60’s (F) and really chilled things off from those hot humid summer days.

I had a project “sitting around” for a while (only a year I think). The blocks I had were a result of some ‘pattern testing’ for my friend Carole (https://frommycarolinahome.com//) a while back. It is easiest for me to test a pattern by actually making a few blocks. I decided at the time to sew them together and make a table runner. That has been sitting by for at least 18 months I believe. Anyway, I decided to add some narrow white borders to frame it, and finish it up with straight line walking foot quilting. I did a little fun stitching on the border using a pattern built into my Janome 8900 sewing machine.

The pattern is from the Scrap Dance series, and this is the Scrap Dance Minuet. The pattern is available for purchase on Carole’s blog – https://frommycarolinahome.com/my-patterns/

Scrap Dance Minuet pattern

My setting isn’t one of the pattern options. I made 3 block A and 3 block B’s. Dimensions before the white borders were 12.5″ x 72.25″. I added 2″ wide borders and made 198″ of binding. Of course I used my favorite Susie’s Magic binding, and you can see the little pop of blue with daisies on the edge of the binding.

You may wonder about that dark binding. I just wanted something a little darker to ground the table runner. Besides…it matches the back of the table runner. You may think it is an “odd” fabric, but there was a point to it.

Label for table runner

This will be an anniversary gift for a couple we know. When I presented the idea to my husband he thought it was a great plan! The fella is a “train buddy” of my husband. He always jokes about the great locomotives he gifts his lovely bride for birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas. She is quite an artist, and I hope she enjoys the “floral” side. I can just picture him flipping it over to the “train track” side to tease her a little.

I had an interesting time making the label for the back on my Janome 11000 embroidery/sewing machine. I used a program on the computer called Embrilliance in Express Mode to do the wording. I couldn’t merge the art into that program because it is copy right protected. BUT, I was able to merge it on the screen of my embroidery machine. I am fairly excited that I was able to do that!

The little video below is about 7 seconds. At the very end you can see a snippet of the machine screen. It shows the time for stitching as about 62 minutes, 27000(+) stitches. For some reason, it took me considerably longer, as I fought thread breaks all the way through. But, I persevered and finished. Note, I changed to a metallic thread needle with a slightly bigger eye, added more stabilizer under the hoop, changed to different brand of thread and much more to try to get it to stitch out nicely.

Once this was finished stitching, I attached the label to the back of the quilt and got busy finishing the binding and hand stitching two edges of the label. I use a light weight fusible pellon when I make the label putting the fusible on the FRONT of the label with the fusing side towards the pretty side of the label. I stitch all around the label, then slit an X to make hole in the center of the fusing and “turn” the label. It gives the label a nice finished turned edge and I can press it on the back of the project. I like to catch two edges in the binding to minimize how much hand sewing I have to do. Having the fusing on the back makes for a neat edge on the label and helps to prevent removal of a label. (I learned that trick from Pat Sloan when she was making circles for applique. It works for lots of things I have found.) In hindsight, I should have left the cut-away stabilizer on the back of the label, as the backing fabric shows through the white fabric. Note to self for a future label project! Oh I always learn the hard way. Not turning back on this one though!

It felt good to finish this off and the timing to give it as an anniversary gift was perfect.

Are you clearing up any UFO’s??

Scrap Happy and Allietare Updates

Fair warning Рlots of photos!  

Just a few years ago, I dug in the scrap storage boxes and put together about 30 blocks using Pat Sloan’s pattern Scrap Happy Little Wishes Star Challenge. (See Pat’s post – Scrap Happy Stars for the free pattern)

I wrote about the project once or twice at the time and showed off my blocks, joined together with black sashing here –¬†Just a border or two.

Well, if you have been following me for any time at all, you know you sometimes never see the end result…or maybe I left you wondering “what did she decide?”…..

Well, let me tell you….NOTHING for almost 5 years!¬† Honestly, I have told others that I am a “top maker’ not a quilter at times.¬† I have a LOT of tops made, hanging on hangers on my storage shelves that get forgotten because something ‘new and exciting’ comes along.¬† In fact, some are hanging so long I had to put them on NEW hangers because the hook of the hanger was stretched out due to the weight.

I get tempted by shiny new fun patters.¬† Why, just the other day, Pat Sloan started another “new sew along” and I was really feeling tempted.¬† ¬†And then, our local quilt shop, Serendipity Quilt Shop in Dagsboro Delaware announced a new sew along.¬† The pattern, Serendipity House in the Pumpkin patch, calls to me. Check it out here – House in the Pumpkin Patch.¬† You know if you follow me that I always have a container of “autumn colors” just waiting on another opportunity! Now I have TWO fun sew alongs to think about.

Before I could l do anything else though, I needed to fold up the massive (111″ x 120″) backing¬† for my Allietare quilt and get the backing and top in the mail to California for quilting by my wonderful sister in law, the One Block Wonder Woman¬†.

Remember the fabrics I was using?¬† (Some of this may be a repeat of a previous post/photos…but I just love this fabric group!)

Border fabric choices

Top fabric (wine labels) is the border fabric. The herringbone gold and the grape fabric are on the back, along with this wonderful Bella Toscana fabric I was inspired by last month –

Bella Toscana by Windham Fabrics

My plan was pretty simple for the backing – scribbled out quickly.¬† (The quilt will be WIDE because of the drop on our king size bed. I like a quilt to hang over the sides and get to the bottom of the thick top¬† mattress.)¬† My quilt top is 111″ wide by 99 ” long.

Planning the backing

Careful planning…no, what I call “quilt math”, but careful measurements of the actual project, careful cutting etc and I fairly quickly had a quilt back ready. What really slowed me down was ironing those massive pieces before cutting, and after stitching.

Backing ready to stitch Allietare

Carolyn was kind enough to advise me she needed 4 inches on the sides for the long arm clamps; and to remember to do 1/2″ seams, pressed open. I did leave the selvedge on the edges of the final pieces, as they will be where the clamps are and they will get trimmed off after the quilting. I’d forgotten to take a photo of the backing before I shipped it, but Carolyn, the One Block Wonder Woman was kind enough to snap a picture of it on her design wall.¬† She said it was so big it took over her sewing room! The backing is about 120″ wide by 110″ long.

Quilt backing for Allietare

Remember the front?

Alllietare Winter Mystery Quilt outside

I’m so glad it arrived by mail without TOO many wrinkles.¬† Hanging up for a bit will help them to shake out I hope.¬† I hate to see her have to iron that beast, enough that she is loading it on the long arm and doing all the quilting.¬† If you quilt for others and they mail you tops/backings, how do you manage the inevitable winkling from the shipping?¬† Does a steamer work or do you have to iron the whole thing??¬† ¬†Allietare is a pattern by the queen of scraps, Bonnie Hunter and the pattern is available on her online store.

Anyway; now that Allietare is ‘under control’ and OFF my table, back to my Pat Sloan¬† Scrap Happy Little Wishes¬†story!¬† I went to the sewing room and looked at one of my cutting tables, buried in STUFF.¬† A disaster zone for sure!¬† I went up with the intent of “cleaning it up” but to be honest, it looks like this 4 days later STILL.

Disaster zone

Last week I was making “string blocks” for borders, so there are bins of stings, baskets of scraps and so much more on that table.¬† I had one basket of string blocks made, and decided to join them together into a “string border”.¬† (I wanted to sew, not clean….at least, that is what I told myself when I picked up the baskets).¬† Sewing string blocks uses scraps, which I needed to clear up, right?¬† I use phone book paper as a foundation for my string blocks.¬† At one time, I had my strings sorted by width, then as I was digging for the right color, I resorted by color. Sometimes I have to get in the scrap aver boxes to find the perfect strip.¬† Anyway, working on string blocks is what I do when I have no sewing “plan”, and I hadn’t quite gotten to the Scrap Happy Little Wishes quilt.¬† (I’ve had vertigo for a week now, so mindless sewing of string blocks was about all I could manage) . Honestly, cleaning up from multiple projects was more than my wobbly head could manage last week.

Since my BIG cutting table was cleared off, I could lay out all the string blocks and arrange them so there were not similar fabrics too close together.

More string border blocks

Anyway, at some point I measured what I had sewn together and discovered I had enough to go around something that was hanging on a hanger waiting on borders.¬† I had made 268″ of a 6″ wide border, and while getting down my Scrap Happy Quilt, I found 336″ of¬† 4″ borders all done too.

String borders

I laid out my Scrap Happy Stars on the table and immediately decided I didn’t want to put either of those string borders “next to the black sashing”.

Scrap Happy Stars on the table

There JUST wasn’t enough space between the busy scrappy stars and the scrap borders.¬† So, I executed plan B.¬† I got out a bin of reds and oranges and yellows, did some more quilt math, and decided a 4″ border was what would work.¬† I have a tone on tone ORANGE (shown at the top of the photo above) that was also used in the sashing stones, and I decided it was perfect.¬† At this point, the quilt top was feeling rather “dark” to me, but the orange really brightened¬† it up.¬† I cut the sashing into 4″ strips, sewed it all together and then sub cut to length for the sizes I needed.¬† I added some cornerstones from my 4″ scrap storage, and in no time at all I had the borders attached.

Scrap Happy Little Wishes Challenge

At this point, I think I am going to leave “well enough alone” and figure out a backing and start quilting it.¬† My brain this morning was running along the line of putting it on my quilting machine frame (the one with the 9″ throat and the Janome 1500).¬† I need to learn how to use that machine, loading etc, and it is high time.¬† I am glad I bought some wide backing last winter from Marshall’s Dry Goods, but not sure if grey paisley is what I want to use.¬† I have some purple wide backing, but have to check and see if there is “enough”.¬† If not, I may order something else.¬† Did you know they sell 108″ wide back for $7.99 a yard, and you can get a 15 yard BOLT for under $80.¬† Great choices and I am thinking I have some shopping to do.

Sidenote Serendipity Quilt Shop is a small business in a very small town, and since the onset of the COVID-19 lockdowns, they have converted to totally online sales until it is safe for everyone to shop in person in their store. If you need something, new fabric is arriving daily, and they have $5 flat rate shipping or porch pick-up. Their amazing online shopping website is running well and this week (through July 12) there is 20% off on Moda Grunge.  So, if you need some fabric or notions, try to support the small business so they will be there after COVID-19 is history.  Serendipity is where I ordered that fabulous Bella Toscana fabric, catching it on sale.  I think I bought 7 or 8 yards, so I have enough for matching pillowcases.  The facebook post by Serendipity inspired me to get my Bonnie Hunter Allietare off the hanger!!  

It is a very nice feeling to move two projects forward that have been “hanging around” for so long.¬† No worries though, I have lots more UFO’s to tackle.¬† All but one of the series of Scrap Dance Mystery Quilts I have done over the years are still “on hangers” . Well, except the last one, it is still on the design wall.¬† Carole is publishing the TWIST soon.¬† When I was looking through photos yesterday I realised I had ONE of the Scrap Dance series finished.¬† I had to go back to my blog and find the post about it.¬† Turns out, I finished it around September 2015, about the same time I was making the blocks for the Scrap Happy Stars!

Scrap Dance Quilt Along Finish!

Seems I like those scrappy projects!!!I was busy that year.  (You may see some of the same fabrics in BOTH projects!)

If you made it this far, thanks for reading.¬† I appreciate all of your comments when you take the time to post them.¬† I often say I am slow to blog anymore because I don’t have much to say, or I don’t have any photos to support the post. Today it seems like I might be overwhelming you with photos and narrative.¬† ¬†So, I am glad you took the time to get this far, and hope you enjoyed the post.

What are you doing on this hot July day for fun???

UFO Complete — Get to the Point!

Not too long after I retired, I signed up for a series of “beginner quilt classes” at the local quilt shop.¬† We used two books by Pat Sloan, and made several patterns from “I Can’t Believe I’m Quilting” and the advanced book .¬† One project has been “fermenting” on my shelf. The pattern was called Get To The Point, and¬† I originally wrote about it in an early 2013 post- A Good Sewing Week.

A few weeks went by and it got mentioned –¬†https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/on-point-with-borders-wip-still/¬† .¬†

Later in 2013 I started to feel a little bugged by “unfinished class projects”¬† –¬†https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/unfinished-projects-starting-to-bug-me/ .¬†

That doesn’t mean I finished them all, because a few years later I mentioned this quilt again again – https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2015/11/08/such-a-follower/¬† ¬†and then again early the next year –https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/on-point-and-setting-triangles/

Looking back at all those blog posts (do that later), I realized I had multiple projects going on, and a lot of indecision about how to proceed with many of these projects. I’ve learned a lot with those projects, and one thing I learned about me is l love to piece quilt tops, but get stuck with the borders and the “finishing”.¬† ¬†

With this project, I decided to try my hand at “free motion quilting” not long after I put the top together and I hated the result, so the project got folded up and put on the shelf.¬† A few years later, it was one of my UFO challenge projects, and I took it off the shelf and worked at removing all of the free motion quilting. Oh, my seam ripper and I became very good friends.¬† Back on to the shelf it went to continue the fermentation process.¬†¬†

This past week, I went out to my sewing room thinking I would work on my Vintage Christmas blocks, but somehow, that project caught my eye and I pulled it off the shelf and unfolded it to have a look.¬† I’d done some basic “stitch in a ditch” after removing the free motion quilting (or maybe that was before the free motion, I don’t remember). Anyway, I decided I could tackle this top and clear it off the shelf for good.¬†

Machine quilting

Because the quilt had been well anchored with the “stitch in the ditch”, I started with the borders. After the borders I moved into all the setting triangles, while thinking about how to quilt the sashing blocks.

Fun with quilting big spaces

These big squares got a squared off spiral, starting on the outer edge of the block and working around to the middle.¬† The quilt had poly bat and I remember the disaster I had with “not enough quilting” on another project, so I went with a lot of stitching to really anchor this top.¬† (No I don’t use poly batting any longer, but I didn’t want to totally take this apart).

I spent a lot of hours at my machine this week, with the walking foot on, and did a lot of “straight line” quilting. I used at least 4 bobbins of Superior Bottom Line silver thread, as I worked my way across the quilt, down the borders and around and around the triangles points. I also used Silver (Masterpiece by Superior) on the top of the quilt.¬† I like the silver because it pretty much disappears into the quilt and you see the texture but not a lot of the stitching.

IMG_20200527_205054458_HDR

The back of the quilt really shows off the quilting. The original “stitch in the ditch” quilting was a different thread, so it tends to be more visible on the back, but I am ok with that.¬†

IMG_20200527_121907055_HDR

 I finished the last block, trimmed the quilt and got the binding on yesterday, too. 

lots of quilting

I am SO happy that I had tucked away fabric for binding inside the folded quilt to use for the binding.¬† ¬†I did my favorite “binding with a flange” also known as Susie’s Magic Binding.¬† (The purple for the flange came from a scrap leftover from the Senior Quilt 2020 backing).

Get to the point

It finished at¬† 57×74 (who knows why? Not me).¬† It is a great throw size for snuggling under in the recliner or on the back of the couch.¬† In this photo it is on top of the queen size bed in the guest room which currently has (gasp) a comforter on it, not a quilt. (It made a nice neutral backdrop.)¬† Before the evening was over last night, I ran it through the washer and dryer, and was able to sleep under it !¬† Ok, still needs a label, and I will try to do that today.¬†

Oh, one more thing — I assembled the Scrap Dance TWIST and put on one narrow border.¬† It is now an official UFO/waiting on borders! The pattern is by Carole Carter on her blog From My Carolina Home

Twist assembled with one border

It is 86×98 and I plan to put a 6″ border of some kind all around, but it needs some thought (oh geez) and a good pressing! (Shooting for a generous king size of course).

If you are interested in the Scrap Dance Twist pattern, it is available on Carole’s blog for another week or so, before she takes it down and publishes it for sale. Honestly, if you like scrappy patterns, this is a great one to make.¬†¬†

Speaking of UFO’s….I took down off of hangers in my sewing room a bunch of them yesterday, to do a little show and tell during a zoom quilter chat.¬† There are a bunch, and when my friend asked how many I didn’t count the ones in bins.¬† Borders seem to stop me. I don’t know why, searching for the perfect fabric to set things off?¬† Realizing I have been making KING SIZED quilt tops (at least 5 or 6), and the idea of quilting them maybe is what stops me.¬† I ordered some grey wide backing in February, and have enough to finish at least 2 king sized. Perhaps my next UFO will be one of the oldest tops .¬† I’ll have to get back to you on that. Don’t hold your breath!¬†¬†

Disclaimer….if you go back to those old posts that I shared in the links at the top of this post, the CROSSROADS and the 9 patch CUPCAKES, Friendship Star table runner are really finished!¬† The Allietare is still “waiting on borders”, as are several other “Scrap Dance mystery quilts”.¬†

What are you working on this week?