Grandma’s Kitchen Blocks 15 and 16

Catching up in my sewing room after nearly 2 weeks away.  I was behind on the Pat Sloan project called Grandma’s kitchen. I am using 1930’s reproduction fabrics.  They come from a variety of manufacturers and I want to hit as many different patterns & colors as I can.  (Note – my collection grew to a wild number…..)

I got “caught up” just in time for the next step.   Here is block 15.  I am trying to bring in some more yellow and black into the blocks.

Finished block 15 of 25

and here is block 16 — I wanted to carry through some more pink and green in this block.

Block 16 of 25

Today Pat released the layout for Grandma’s kitchen and the first 16 blocks can be assembled into rows.  There are lots of “filler blocks” and sashing bits, so I will have to really look at the layout.  I may “wait” and assemble the rows after the last 9 blocks are made.  I have such a variety of colors that the balance is going to be very important to me for the overall look.

Here are MY sixteen blocks arranged yesterday, before the layout was published. I keep “moving them around and every time I do, I end up with 2 blues side by side (or 4 in this case) or 2 yellows side by side, or 2 blacks side by side etc.

Sixteen blocks completed

I may not “like” my color choices in the position that Pat gives, so there may be some “re-arranging” of those 12 1/2″ and 10 1/2″ blocks.  I have all my 10.5 in a row for no particular reason.  I know that the fabric choices for the future blocks will be guided by the layout Pat has given.  I have 1 other black fabric that I am “saving” – that great clothesline fabric I mentioned a while back.  I may use it in sashing, but will have to do some adapting to use it to it’s best effect, as the print is large. Most of the sashings are 2.5 or 1.5 or 2×2.  It is going to be interesting.

Check out Pat’s post today, and see what you think!  This is probably my “last” post on Grandma’s kitchen until December.  I won’t have time next Wednesday to make a block, as I leave bright and early on Thursday morning.  I am going to be away for a month, coming home late on the night before Thanksgiving. When I get home we will be in “full swing” with the DelMarVa Model Railroad Club Open House, and I will have a lot of catching up to do at home between weekends.  I still have my “Bonnie Hunter Talkin’ Turkey” hanging on the design wall.  (Pattern in Bonnie’s book STRING FLING(note – this is becoming a vintage project, as I started it in September 2016 when Bonnie was in Dover DE teaching a class….we won’t talk about the OTHER Bonnie project I still have in a tote…..)

1 row to go

It is 99% assembled, the borders are made and hanging there for MONTHS, just waiting to be sewn on!  That will have to happen when I get back BEFORE I can lay out Grandma’s Kitchen!

What’s on your design wall today?

Off to Material Girls Quilt Bee today….I am ‘late’, but going.  I’ll be working on my Autumn Jubilee (2016) placemats.  Carole   From My Carolina Home    had a great pumpkin and leaf pattern last year and I have made placemat tops.  Two are assembled and quilted, two are waiting for quilting, but today, I am going to build some more ‘leaves’ for 4 more placemats. 

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Still playing with Autumn Jubilee

Last fall, Carole on the blog From My Carolina Home published a pattern called Autumn Jubilee.

EDIT — I’ve been asked where to find the pattern?  HERE is a link directly to Carole’s quilt along from last fall – Leaf pattern by Carole.  NOTE- you can also go to the left side of her blog and scroll down and look for categories and select Autumn Jubilee.  She had some really great projects over the fall and you might enjoy them all.  Be sure to FOLLOW her blog, as she has something new planned for this fall! I used Carole’s leaf pattern and added 2 different 3″ strips on either side of the leaves to make the placemat.

Over the course of Autumn, I completed 4 table runners using her pattern.  I had amassed a big quantity of appropriate fabrics, and done quite a bit of “pre-cutting” and building of “bits & pieces” for pumpkins and leaf blocks.  One table runner was gifted, and I ended up keeping the other 3.  One for the dining room table and one for each of the treadle machines in the dining room.

I still had lots of “bits & pieces” left over, so I thought I should make some placemats.  Somewhere along the line, Christmas happened, and the box got put away. I pulled it back out in January to take to a quilt bee.  A fellow member of the bee had said she keeps a tote “ready to go” for the bee, and only works on the project during the bee.  A long term project, since we only meet once a month.  This was a clever idea, and I decided a great way to work on these placemats, with no particular deadline.  Of course, everytime I open the container, I have to “rethink” the project.  “How many more half-square triangles do I need, etc?” Today was no exception.

I got busy building more blocks, and finally, by August I had enough done, that I could put together 4 placemats. This one you might have seen in a January post,

The "original" placemat

but here are the rest.

Placemat using my Autumn Jubilee leaves

Placemat#3

Placemat # 4

They still need to be layered, quilted and bound, but the “hard work” is finished.

I can’t quilt until I get my Janome back from the repair shop, so it will still be a while before they are finished.  Each placemat has the common theme of the leaf centers, but the border fabrics are all unique, and the backing fabric will match the outer border.

Long range, my goal is 8 placemats, so it will probably be next August before I bore you again with the last 4! These have been fun to make.

Thanks again to Carole – From My Carolina Home for the cute pattern !

In keeping with the overall scrappiness of the blocks, I just “had” to make the borders on each one a little different.  Would that drive you crazy?

A quieter week

I’ve had a couple of quiet days, and time to play a bit more with my Brother PE500 embroidery machine.   I made a few more bibs for the littlest grandchild and delivered them on Thursday when I went to babysit.  As I worked on these I was reminded how important it is (to me) to have an organized filing system.  I say this because I was having trouble “finding” the design that I was looking for.

When I download designs from a website, I try to print out the “color change sheet” at the same time. My intention is to always name the file something that is “close” to what it was called by the designer, and to include any “file code” names as part of the name. I have an embroidery download folder on my computer, and many, many, sub folders. I  break those sub folders down by “type”; for example, Holidays-Valentines Day/Christmas/Easter/St Patrick’s Day; or Animals; Food; Verses etc.  I place the color change sheet in a 3 ring binder in a similar way, using page dividers.  I am up to 4 – three ring binders!

Well – wouldn’t you know, I have a HEARTS folder and a Valentines folder.  Many of the HEARTS are NOT specific to Valentines day.  Darn if the file I was searching for didn’t land in the HEARTS folder, not the Valentines Day Folder.  I wasted a good deal of “stitching time” looking for the file.  (Like 3 days wasted….)

At one point, I gave up and I started with a St Patrick’s Day design, while I “looked” for the elusive Valentine/Heart file.  I did a little stitching and searching.  Finally I selected an alternate Valentine design and set it up to run.  Well in my haste, I had not “removed” the St Patrick’s Day design from the machine before I started the stitch out on the 2nd design.  1/2 way through the first color, I realised it was stitching out my St Patrick’s Day design all over again.  Well, you decide if you like it in pinks and purples instead of the greens!

February Bib Fun for Addy

I decided to just keep on stitching and while it was busy stitching; get the fabric prepped for an alternate Valentine!  So, 3 new bibs completed and that will be it for a while.  The littlest grandchild will be a year old next month and has quite a collection of “StitchingGrandma” bibs.  (Somewhere in the bib process in the last couple of weeks, I lost the great “Bandana” pattern, so she got traditional shaped bibs.  Clean up was in order at the end of this project; and again, the lost pattern was found and stored away properly!)

I took the new Singer Featherweight 221 for a spin on Wednesday.  My quilt bee – Material Girls – had an all day sit & sew; and that new little machine had a great debut.  Tuesday night we got her oiled up (must be 90 oiling / lube  points). She is clean as a whistle.  Had a few challenges “winding” a bobbin, and had to engage the hubby to help.  Got 3 bobbins ready with his help and determined what was causing the trouble.  He adjusted the belt a tad and it worked much better.  (Nice to have a guy with a mechanical mind helping out).

Today, the LED light I ordered arrived (Thank you EBay!).  I installed it and am pleased with the brightness and lower temperature.  The Ebay seller I purchased from had a few photo’s showing the difference in temperature on the light- from 172 degrees on the incandescent  bulb to 74 degrees with the LED bulb.  That will save an accidental burn on a wrist!  The difference in the light was significant – from 139 lumens to 205 lumens.  Hubby said the bulbs look similar to automotive tail lights. He thinks that the new bulb will last a long time, and because it is LED, will be less likely to break due to the handling of the machine transport case.  I will be ordering 2 belts soon, just to have one on hand and to replace the current belt which is at it’s limit of adjustment.   All in all, I am most pleased with this little machine, which was made in January of 1948. She stitches well and should be a fun travel machine!

I have assembled a tote ready to “travel” with the Autumn Jubilee project material.  I can just “grab & go” to a sit and sew, and not have to “think” about what project I am going to take to work on, or worry over what to assemble ahead of time.  (One of the Bee members said this is how she operates and the only time the project gets worked on is at a bee)  I did manage to get 6 more blocks made on Wednesday using the Autumn Jubilee pattern.  I have lots of pieces cut and ready to assemble. My intention is to make 6 – 8 placemats with the lovely leaf pattern. Once I get a “few” more leaves made I can start building the placemats.  At this rate, it will be August before I can set the table; but the timing will be just about right for this project.  I like the idea of “no stress” on which project to take.  The fun of a going to a sit & sew or quilters bee is the company.  I like being able to dedicate a whole day (or 2 or 3) and not have any other tasks taking me away from the fun!  (Note – the Autumn Jubilee project is from a pattern by Carole – From My Carolina Home)

I worked on my Talkin’ Turkey blocks again Wednesday night and again this afternoon.  I have 4 left to add the corner string blocks to. They are “pinned” and ready to stitch.  The Talkin’ Turkey pattern is by Bonnie Hunter and can be found in the String Fling Book. Bonnie Hunter’s blog

I will need to  square up the blocks next.  I am thinking about how I am going to tackle the  “next round” which will include a LOT of flying geese (8 per block x 30 blocks= 240 flying geese units.)  The pattern by Bonnie Hunter suggests you use the Easy Angle and Companion Angle ruler for the Flying Geese or your “favorite method” .

I plan to use my new Square in a Square tool/method –OPTION 3…by Jodi Barrows.  Using the Square in a Square tool by Jodi Barrows,  flying geese will be done with strips and squares; and if I do the math right; it is done with 120 squares and LOTS of strips!! I just have to sit down with Bonnie Hunters pattern and find the “finished unit size) and then check my Square in a Square book and the chart and figure out what size squares and strips I need to start!  More to follow! I like the “methodical” building of units for a big quilt.  240 Flying Geese doesn’t scare me after I did that quilt last winter with 1400+ half square triangles.  I will be making about 4 “test units” just to make sure I have them sized properly before I begin!

Check out the video on you – tube if you have never seen this ruler or method.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekwRp8_cGU     and    www.squareinasquare.com 

What fun things are you working on??   What is your favorite method for flying geese ?  Do you have any “new tools” or “toys” ??  Do tell………………

Busy times and little stitching

Oh, it has been almost a month since I have put up a blog post. Busy times! My big sister, Cathi, came to visit for a few days! We had some fun visiting with the youngest grandchild and her mother during her time here.  Right after she departed, I hopped a plane (or 3) for a trip to Texas.

I spent two wonderful weeks in Texas with the grandchildren and their parents and have had SO much fun!  My 8 year old grandson was watching me as I was basting hexi’s , and wanted to do a “little sewing too”.

20161023_135036

Little hands

He did all the basting stitches,

basting stitches

and then joined all the hexi’s together.

whip stitching

check out his “whip stitches.  I’d say he is doing a pretty good job for his first time out!  He sure does have the concept down pat!

He worked on that hexi flower for 2 solid hours and got it done!  I asked him what he thought he wanted to do with it once it was all stitched together. He was uncertain, so I helped my self to a slightly worn kitchen towel from the drawer.  It had a few worn spots that we “covered” with the flower.  I helped with the “stitching down” to the hand towel , because his mom was due home “any minute” and he wanted to surprise her!  He told his mom that he made “something old new again“.  She appreciates re-purposing things!  I think he did a great job!  Surprising what you can do with a few bits of fabric that some people might just throw away.

flower fun

The youngest of the grands in Texas  is 4, and she wanted to “sew” also.  She picked out some hexi’s that I had already basted, and artfully arranged them into a flower.

20161025_151154

Then she decided that Grandma should make her a bag.  Luckily, my daughter had a partial “fat quarter” in her sewing box, and I managed to put together this little bag – completed in an hour or so, under the constant supervision of said 4 year old!  (After it was done, she told me she wants me to teach her how to make a pair of shoes…….curious child)/

little tote

I did get a few more than this done in between working on the children’s sewing — I think I managed to get 4 double diamonds assembled.  Only managed 1 photo, but sometime soon I will put them all back up on the design wall again!  (Right after MITTENS is finished…….still a WIP on the wall!)

Double Diamonds

While visiting in San Antonio, I visited Las Colchas Quilt Shop.  Worthy of a visit if you find yourself in downtown San Antonio.  Small shop, but packed full of lovely items.  I brought home a few fat quarters as a reminder of my trip.  Of course, we did lots of eating of wonderful regional foods!  Time spent in San Antonio is fun; and one place we visited downtown was called The Pearl.  It is the best “urban renewal” effort I have seen in a long time.  I put up a bunch of photo’s in an album on FLICKR – The Pearl .(https://www.flickr.com/photos/92296158@N02/albums/72157672440816744 ) It is an old brewery location and there must be 6 or 8 city blocks that have been redeveloped along the San Antonio River. Free parking and pecan trees were a bonus.  We stopped in at La Gloria for chips, salsa and guacamole; and at Bakery Lorraine for a cookie. The pecan trees were all over the place and the grands loaded up a bag full of the wonderful nuts. They were quite the Urban scavengers!   We enjoyed doing a little shopping and a nice walk along the river too.  We poked into the lobby and bar of the Hotel Emma!  What a great  building.  The remnants of the brewery were embraced in the wonderful lobby and bar area. If I had a million dollars and an opportunity, I would move into one of the new condo’s at The Pearl.

I spent 2 solid days on my return home, working on the never ending stack of donated fabric for the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Second Time Around table. Thank goodness for the 4 ladies that came on Monday and Tuesday to help me dig through and sort, measure, iron, fold and price some of the items.

The rest of this week is dedicated to my time at Sit & Sew Camp, being held in a nearby church facility.  The members of several quilt bees, associated with Ocean Waves Quilt Guild are gathering to “sew together” on their own projects. We meet from 8:30 – 3:30 and visit, and sew, and laugh and catch up. So nice to spend the time with lovely women who  are so talented.

Today I worked on “pumpkin blocks” and some more “leaf blocks”.  I am hoping to have enough ready to make 3 Autumn Jubilee Table Runners.  Thanks Carole – From My Carolina Home for the great patterns and layouts.  I missed the last 3 weeks of Autumn Jubilee on Carole’s blog, so I am making up for lost time.  Today I made a batch of pumpkins

Pumpkin prep

They will go along nicely with those Autumn leaves I have been working on!

Maple leaves

I spent my last 2 evenings gathering fabric and getting ready to go.  I made a kit of the fabrics for the pumpkins, plus I cut more squares for Autumn leaves.  I am going to add a few greens, reds and a little more brown to the collection of leaves.  So, more 2.5″ and 3″ squares. At the Sit & Sew this morning I stitched and trimmed up a stack of half square triangles, so I am ready for “leaf assembly ” tomorrow morning!  Hope to have some “assembly” that looks like a table runner by the end of the fun on Thursday!  I’m sure I would be more productive at home, but it is great fun to gather together to sew.

Happy stitching!

 

 

Scrap Dance Tango – Step 5 complete and more

I finally got to sew.  After dinner last night, I went out to the sewing room and got busy.  It was nearly 11 pm when I finished, but I have all 142 – 4 patches completed for Step 5 of Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt.  Be sure to check out the instructions by Carole – From My Carolina Home

Scrap Dance Tango Step 5

This month’s “clue” was posted on Friday, May 13th.  I was “just” a little busy with the grandkids. That day we were having a birthday party for a certain little girl and the household was all a-buzz.  We took them to the airport on Saturday morning, and when I got home,  I got to work for a couple of hours, assembling one side of the block.  Carolyn arrived the next day, and we had a FULL calendar.  While she was here, I gave her “exclusive” use of my Janome, and I spent the time while she was sewing putting things away, getting more fabric out for our Pet Mosaic and squaring up 5″ HALF-square triangles for my newest grand daughter’s quilt .

We didn’t have much “at home” sewing time during her visit. She did however, show me her “newest” ruler and block.  There is a bit of a back story first tho…..You see, Gloria Stickney of Sew Fabulous Inc,  Winston-Salem, North Carolina was going to be the guest speaker and teacher at  Helping Hands Quilt Guild in Dover DE while Carolyn was visiting. She was teaching a workshop with the Jodi Barrows Square in a Square ruler.  I had added the workshop on our “things to do” list, but the timing was tight.  Carolyn & I had seen Jodi Barrows demo the ruler at the Houston IQF, so we were familiar with the tool. Then I found this video – Square in a Square overview VIDEO  .  Well, one thing led to another, and before her visit, Carolyn ordered the ruler, and 2 additional books, and brought her blocks with her to work on during the visit.  The books are so well written that it is “easy” to teach yourself, and of course, there is always You-tube to back you up!  We attended the guild meeting and the quilts that Gloria Stickney showed that were all done with the Jodi Barrows “Square in a Square” ruler.  There are so many OPTIONS with the ruler, and every thing is done with strips and squares.  Having seen Carolyn work with hers, I bit the bullet, and purchased my own, along with 2 books.  Now, I have to get busy and play with that tool and see what I can create.  I will let you know when I use it and how it all works out.  (We could not go to the class taught by Gloria, as I had a gathering with my “QUEEN BEES” . )

Also, while Carolyn was here, speaking of busy, we attended 2 “Quilt Bees”.  One was with the Material Girls and the other was with the Queen Bees.  At the Queen Bee’s gathering, we brought our machines, set up and got right to work, building string blocks for charity quilts. And of course, we socialized, and ate, and planned for the coming months, played a fat quarter swapping game.  The Queen Bees really like to get together and work.  We are also lucky in the Queen Bees to have a member who made arrangements with her neighborhood community center for space to work in.  One thing about both Bees is the “planning” ahead for our Fat Quarter swaps!  We have colors selected in both groups through August, and I was able to shop for those FQ on our Fabric Acquisition Road Trip to Lancaster County, PA.

Next in the stack of projects, now that Step 5 is finished, – get more 5″ HST blocks squared up!  I am making a grey, coral, turquoise  and white quilt for my grand daughter Addison.  I picked up a couple more “grey” fabrics and more white during our trip to Lancaster.  I have started  laying out the design of the quilt. (Ok, so she is now 2.5 months old, and she doesn’t have a Stitching Grandma quilt yet, but she hasn’t graduated from college yet…..) Seriously, she will get her quilt before she is ready to exit the crib!!  I have given up sewing days to go cuddle with her, so that is my story, and I am sticking to it. Besides, her mommy said don’t bother with a baby sized quilt, make it a double…for her big bed!  So, I have my marching orders and I am not feeling too guilty for not getting it finished yet.  (I posted about the quilt here – Half Square Triangle fun  )

Today, however, I have a card making class & must gather my materials and come up with a plan for a lovely Birthday card for my friend June.

Happy stitching and crafting!

Christmas Quilt Along Table Runner on the Table

 Every Friday,  Bonnie Hunter gives out another clue in the Quiltville Winter Mystery 2015 – Allietare . ( Allietare Mystery quilt ). Since “Black Friday”, I anxiously await for the next clue!  Today, Clue 4 came out.  Before I could even THINK about starting any cutting, I wanted to get my Christmas Table Runner finished.  (Here is my logic:  I saved the clue, printed it out, and got busy with my Christmas Table Runner.   I knew that if I started Clue 4, then the table runner would be “pushed to the side” again!  I figured I am managing to keep up with the clues, and if I get behind now, at least the table runner is finished!)

The table runner project started back in mid-November when Carole, at “From My Carolina Home” on WordPress invited her followers to Quilt Along. If this project interests you, you might want to start at this link:  From the beginning .   She gave us the instructions over the course of 4 weeks on Friday’s.

I’ve had the top made for 2 weeks, but have been busy with other things, and needed to piece the back and get it layered and quilted and bound.  

Here is my finished project.  As previously mentioned, I went “scrappy” using up those “gifted”  bits of fabric my friends share.  I only pulled a few neutral fat quarters and fabric for the border and backing from my stash.

Table runner

The quilting shows a little better on the back.

back of the runner

As usual, I had to add an “element” to the back of the quilt too, using leftover squares and strips.

Pieced back

The photo below was taken with a flash, and the project looks “flat”.  I find that interesting that the quilting flattens out in the photo with the flash.  

on the table

I have several prior posts about this project if you are a new visitor to my blog. If you would like to see those posts, follow these links.  Christmas Quilt Along and  here.

note – binding is done using Susie’s Magic binding .  If you would like a tutorial, look here:  Susie’s Magic Binding Tutorial

Now, I can proceed to Clue 4 …….

Step 1 and 2 completed of the Scrap Dance

Do you remember that I mentioned last week (  https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/scrap-dance-my…ry-quilt-along/     )  that I was participating in the Scrap Dance Quilt Along being run by FromMyCarolinaHome.wordpress.com  ?   I decided to start tackling my basket of scraps, and do a little clean up after piecing my Quilts of Valor top.

So; I printed out the directions; and decided to go with the baby sized quilt. I have enough scraps for 2 king size I am sure, but I don’t have much time to work on any big projects right now. So, the small size will have to do….and if I have a spare moment, maybe a table topper.

For Step 1 I needed to cut 85 – 2.5″ scrappy squares; 36 – 3″ scrappy squares from the scrap basket. Barely made a dent!  I also needed 68 – 2.5 ” background fabric squares and 36 -3 inch background fabric squares. Had to pull out a couple of fat quarters to get a neutral background. No scraps for that job.    I assembled those 36 – 3″ squares into half square triangles and got them ready.  Now, the lazy side of me only trimmed down 20 of the 72 half square triangles so I could assemble Step 2.

Step 2 required you to put together 3 of the 2.5″ background along with 2 of the half square triangles into a “row”.  I wanted to say it was a block, but it looks like a row to me.

Part of the Quilt Along has you put your photo’s up on Flickr.   I went ahead and requested to “join the group”. In the time being, until I am approved to join that group,  I thought I would share with you what I have so far –

Assorted scraps cut in required sizes

Assorted scraps cut in required sizes 2.5″ and 3″ blocks

Half square triangles, ready to trim

Half square triangles, ready to trim

What is so much fun with this is that most of the fabrics in this scrap group (except the fish) have come from my friends. Things they just could not see a good use for!  Love FREE fabric!!! Thanks Nancy & Cindy!!  🙂  I know you will recognize your contributions.

the 10 finished "rows" for step 2.

the 10 finished “rows” for step 2.

I managed to get some of the scraps under control, but sadly this only made a slight dent in the top of the basket. I chose the Baby Quilt size because I thought it would be a fun project to work on “in between” my bigger projects. Tomorrow, I swear, I need to make a list and write down some deadlines! I have enough scraps to make a king size, but not the time to commit to a big new project! So, baby quilt size for now, and the extra blocks I cut (ABOUT 100 – 3″) will go in the “scrap storage containment boxes by their size. I still have my eyes open for a piece that will round out one of my hexi diamonds I am short 2 units for. A little clean up is good for the creativity….not too mired down in the stuff! There won’t be another post on this project until May, but if you want more info; there is a button on the side of my blog to take you right to the Scrap Quilt Along From My Carolina Home blog.
Hope you are having a bright sunny day like me! Time to get dinner going! Bye for now!