SCRAP HAPPINESS- Strings and 4 patches!

I’ve managed to assemble a twin sized quilt using the string blocks I made in August.  There is no “official pattern”, I just worked out the sizes as I went along. I was inspired by several different string quilts I saw on  Becky Petersen’s blog, Quilted Twins.  Becky finished up a string quilt recently and set the string blocks with alternate blocks and surrounded everything with white.  I decided I liked the way the white played with the bright fabrics, so that is how I came to sash these blocks, using scrappy white fabric.

String quilt assembled

The top currently measures at 58″ x 87″.  (Sorry, but the lighting washed out the colors.  Maybe if the rain stops before my ark floats away, I can get a decent daylight photograph after I get the next round of borders on.)

The blocks were stitched on 6×6″ phone book papers, and set with 2″ white sashing and 2″ cornerstones. I tried to use a wide variety of white fabric with print for the cornerstones.  The “strings” came from my scrap user storage system, as did the 2″ cornerstones.  I was able to get many of the 6″ sashing strips from scrap fabric, but needed so much I resorted to cutting a nice 2″ strip off of many pieces of yardage I have set aside for my “next” Bonnie Hunter project.

I’ve done all of the sewing on this project on 2 machines, both my Brother 6000i and my 1949 Featherweight. Last week I had to take a break and let the hubby do a little servicing of the Brother. Seems the “timing was out of whack”, with the needle striking the bobbin case, and he was able to make the necessary adjustments. (Thank goodness for Google and You Tube).

Adjusting the timing

He is pretty handy to have around. He does a lot of “micro work” with electronics for his model railroad hobby and has an excellent mechanical and troubleshooting mind.  The next photo is one of hubby’s little projects.  And I mean little.  He is wiring LED lights into an assembly for an HO locomotive. Note the scale of the project.

LED project

He asked me to take a bunch of photo’s, so of course, I used a piece of scrap white fabric for a background. Those are 1″ squares on my cutting mat showing around the fabric.  Needless to say, he is quite talented.  (I think I hurt his feelings when I would not let him work on my Janome 8900, which is STILL in the shop, awaiting parts.  I’m sure he would have had it running by now if he could have gotten schematics and parts.)

Both the Brother and the Featherweight machines require me to use a leader/ender to start & stop the sewing, so I dug into the 2″ basket and made a significant amount of 2 patches, and then gradually sewed them into four patches.  I now have somewhere near 133 4 patches ready for another project, yet still the 2″ basket is quite full.  I have a nice stack of 2 patches to press today and pin together for the next round of sewing.  I learned all about using leaders & enders on Bonnie Hunter’s blog .  Bonnie has 2 books about how to use your Leaders & Enders, and you can find them on her blog for sale. She also has lots of free patterns on her blog if you are looking for something fun to sew.  (Right now, my 4 patches are going to “ferment” for a while)

133 Four patches from 2" squares

I enjoyed this string quilt project, and think it needs a bit more in the order of a border, so I will be doing some more of those fun string borders that I did on my Scrap Dance Two step.  I figure, why not use up the strings when the phone book paper is plentiful?  I love sewing the strings. The sashing was a bunch of work!

Yay for foundation papers

In the last 2 days I have had 2 more phone books arrive in the driveway and I did a little quilter cheer that I hope would make Bonnie Hunter laugh!

Before you go, do go take a look at Becky Petersens blog post  – Quilted Twins blog

I will be linking this to Oh Scrap!

And linking up at the end of the month to the OMG – One Monthly Goal .

If you haven’t seen those blogs, hop over and take a look.  If you found me from one of those blogs, please let me know!

What’s happening in your sewing room?

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Strings and Grandma’s Kitchen blocks 9 and 10 and more

I have “put off” working on my Pat Sloan – Grandma’s Kitchen blocks while my Janome has been in the shop.

I heard from the repairman last Thursday that it will be at “least” 2 more weeks. My poor Janome 8900 is awaiting parts.  Apparently one of the feed-dogs broke (go figure), and bent the bobbin case “cushion” which caused a terrible clatter and was beyond our “tech skills” to fix.  I can’t go a whole MONTH without a machine, so I got out one of my other machines.  (And thanks to all my friends who have offered to share a machine during this time of desperation ! )

I’ve been sewing on my Brother 6000i since the big machine went into the shop.  Brother 6000i  has primarily been my travel machine, until I got the Singer Featherweight.  I was able to set the Brother in the sewing table the Janome fits in, using the Brother extension table, and sew at a reasonable “height” that doesn’t make me feel like my elbows are adjacent to my ears.

Anyway,  I got allowed myself to be distracted last week, playing in the strings that have accumulated.  

STRING BLOCKS 

If you remember, I was prepping donated fabric for sale at the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Show for most of the last year.  Anyway, the show was in July, and the leftovers were dispatched to the person taking on the committee following my reign of terror. The new chairperson did not want the 2 cribs full of leftover scraps, so I boxed them all up, and carted them home. (Hey, being a scrap-a-holic is something I readily admit to!)

I spent the last month sorting those boxes out by color.  I dumped boxes, one at a time on my work table, and smoothed, ironed, trimmed, again, and into my plastic storage containers.  About 1/2 way through the 8 or 10 boxes, I started pulling the “strings” out and into a separate container.   To me, a string is anything less than 2.5″ wide.  I pressed and put them into shoeboxes. Before you knew it, the shoe boxes were overflowing and I decided to get busy and make some string blocks.

I follow the Bonnie Hunter – Quiltville –  string block method, using old telephone book pages to act as foundations.  (Yes, I still get phone books, and this is my preferred recycling method.)  (Check out Bonnie’s book STRING FLING).   I got out the paper cutter, pulled pages out of a smaller phone book, and cut 6″ blocks from the pages.  I started with 30 pages and quickly used them up.  When I stitch on the phone book pages, I shorten the stitch length significantly, so the paper comes off quite easily, after squaring up the blocks. Someone commented to me on Facebook about using fabric for foundations. I have done that, and I have also used a Pellon interfacing for foundation.  I really just wanted to recycle what I had, and the phone book pages and strings are doing that without buying something else.

I was also inspired by a quilt I saw on another blog – Quilted Twins .  Becky Petersen does scrap quilts and was working with a bunch of 2″ strings and the quilt in her blog gave me some ideas for my strings.  She hasn’t published a pattern yet for the quilt in the blog post, but I am certain she will soon.

I made a couple of blocks and then got an idea to “sort those strings by color”.  (They had been all stored together.). So, I went for blues to start with, and got busy. Then on to reds, pinks, oranges and yellows, browns and greens. Before you know it, I had 98 blocks.  The first 2 random blocks are still “waiting their turn” for a project; but they are not going in THIS project.

Working on String Blocks

I did not “duplicate” Becky’s pattern, rather, I used her setting as inspiration.  I liked the way the white set off the brilliant colors of the string blocks.  My hubby is not crazy about the “chaos” of string blocks, but he likes (I think) this setting –

4 rows string block quilt

I’ve been doing all the sashing on my little Singer Featherweight along with some of the sewing of string blocks.

Stitching string blocks on the featherweight

The Brother got tired of string blocks, it started acting crazy, so hubby carried the Featherweight upstairs to the sewing room for me. (I usually store it down at the bottom of the stairs in my to-go trolley).  Hubby spent 4 or 5 hours dismantling the Brother 6000i, and determined it was a “timing issue”. Thank goodness for the internet & you-tube videos.  I was ready to chuck it down those aforementioned stairs.  He has infinite patience and mechanical and troubleshooting skills, so he FIXED it.  Today, I will set the Brother back up, in my sewing table, which will give me “more space” for joining those two big sections together, and for adding sashing to the remaining 64 blocks.

GRANDMA’S KITCHEN 

Anyway, in between the “making of the string blocks” and the “sashing” of the string blocks, another Wednesday rolled along.  I decided to get busy and knock out blocks 9 & 10 of Grandma’s Kitchen.   Since I was pulling fabrics for “both” blocks at the same time, I pulled out LOTS of fabrics.

For block 9, I decided I wanted to “see something” out the kitchen window panes.  What would Grandma see looking out?  I think she would be keeping a watchful eye on all the grandchildren!

The Kitchen Window - block # 9 of 25

BLOCK 9 – GRANDMA’S Kitchen –

This block was fun to make!  I got to use my “design boards” for the first time.  I kept seeing Pat Sloan promoting the ones at the Fat Quarter shop, and I thought, heck, I can make those.  I even found a tutorial from the Fat Quarter shop on You Tube.

(If you aren’t familiar – check out  Lori Holt Fat Quarter Shop Design boards  )

I found other tutorials to make the design board, and one used pretty duct tape.  I decided to go for the duct tape, so I spent $2 at the Dollar Tree store, for the Foam Core Board and the pretty duct tape.  I got 2 boards measuring 15×15 with one little strip left over. I also used Elmers Spray Glue to hold my batting in place instead of hot glue.  Since I had the spray glue and batting already, I ended up with 2 – 15×15 boards for a total of $2.  (See the end of the post for a link where you can buy ready made 18×18 boards for a mere $12.98 EACH.….)

15x15 design board

The duct tape is pretty, but was a challenge to put on straight. It is sticking well to the paper on the back, but it wants to “lift” off the batting on the front. I have “smoothed it” back down a few times, so it is sticking, but I may “re-engineer” my boards. I didn’t want to use hot glue, but may have to.  Thus far, no fingers glued together with hot glue or spray glue.  And, other than popping into the Dollar Tree on day when I went for groceries at Redners, it took me about 20 minutes total!  

On to Block 10 of Grandma’s Kitchen

I had a pile of fabrics out, and I was looking at all my other blocks too.  I decided it was time to pop a little orange into the project.  I did my usual with the black and white photo’s so I could be certain I got my light, medium and dark right.

Plan B Block 10

I think it worked out after a “few” tries.  I was up to plan “D”  & “E”, but I will spare you the photo’s. You “get” the concept!

Block 10 Grandma's Kitchen

I took an extra minute and did a 2nd line of stitching on the “stitch & flip” corners, and got 4 bonus half-square triangles, which I trimmed up to 2.5″. No waste for me.  I tossed them into my “OOPS block” container that I am using for this project. They are not an “oops” but that’s ok.  I have a plan in mind for those little bits at the end of the quilt making!

Bonus Blocks from Block 10

For Grandma’s Kitchen pattern information – check out http://www.ilovetomakequilts.com/grandmas-kitchen-sew-along.html

To purchase a “ready made” design board – look at https://www.fatquartershop.com/teal-happy-text-bee-in-my-bonnet-design-board

I hope you enjoyed this post, and that you might venture into “recycling” fabric scraps into quilts or “crafting your own design board”.

Linking up to Oh Scrap!  and  Pat Sloan’s link up  and OMG – one monthly goal for September

Quick note – I am establishing my One Monthly Goal for September – getting the String Quilt FINISHED….yes, you heard that….sashed, rows joined, and QUILTED & BOUND.  My heart wants me to get this ready for a Hurricane Harvey donation as quickly as possible!

Borders complete-ready to quilt

Well, to say I am inspired by the One Monthly GoalOMG  on  Elm Street Quilts  is putting it mildly!  I haven’t had this much time to sew in a very long time.

I think I met the AUGUST goal that I posted earlier to the group.  My goal was to assemble the blocks for the Scrap Dance Two Step Mystery Quilt Along (Designed by Carole – From My Carolina Home ).   I think I may need to “modify” the goal and get it quilted too!  ( Those of you who know me, know that I have 1/2 a dozen quilt tops on hangers, patiently waiting the quilting part!)  No promises….other shiny objects may get in my way!

I got all the pieced borders on, and am pleased with the outcome.  The quilt top is now a reasonable twin size – 58″ x 82″.  

I am quite pleased with the outcome!  I’m glad I “up-sized” from throw to twin at the beginning of the project too!  Thanks Carole for another great scrappy project.  Only neutral fabrics were cut from yardage in this quilt.  All other fabrics came straight from the scrap bin!

Scrap Dance Two-Step Mystery Quilt  Along.

I think the scrappy borders work well with this quilt and will now have to start thinking about the quilting, and whether I am doing my usual walking foot in the ditch/cross hatch routine or more FMQ than usual.  How would you quilt it?  

MAYBE my friend Lana, and her buddy Chris, will wander by in the next couple of weeks and give me a tutorial on the monster quilting machine I acquired last year and have YET to use. (She has a similar set up and promised “after the quilt show”.) I think next week I am going to sit down with it and just start to play for 15 minutes or so every day.  I am intimidated by the  loading and so forth. She had all kinds of tips and techniques she uses, so I can’t wait!!  Perhaps I will load one of those charity quilts I have hanging around!  

Meanwhile….the Pat Sloan block awaits for the Grandma’s Kitchen block 6.  I just figured out which of the fabrics I want to use to feature the “wash day” motif of the block.  Now, I need to figure out the rest of the fabrics!

Until next time, this StitchingGrandma has plans with the grandkids, so no further posts for a few days.  I have to go play!

update – linking up – August One-Monthly Goal – link up (Project OMG) My goal was to get this quilt top assembled, and I am please with how it has come together SO fast!

Serious progress with One Monthly Goal (OMG)

Yesterday I wrote about the One Monthly Goal (OMG) – OMG – A place to start .  

My goal for August  is to get the blocks from Scrap Dance Two Step, a pattern from From My Carolina Home blog, put together. The final layout was released  in July and I haven’t had a chance to work on it yet.  I have 24 blocks all made between January & June in this mystery quilt designed by Carole.  24 blocks is supposed to be twin sized. 

I got out to the sewing room after lunch and got busy.  Hubby was busy downstairs  in the garage, removing and replacing the rear brakes on his SUV, and I had lots of time without interruption.  I got my blocks laid out and webbed together.

4 x 6 layout - Scrap Dance tango

I was skipping stitches as I was joining these blocks, and my friend Nancy listened as I complained.  I had already changed the needle, twice…..she suggested I go in and clean out the bobbin case.  That made a huge difference!  (Do you do that?  Wait until there is trouble before cleaning the bobbin area?  I wait too long to change my rotary blade too!!)

These blocks are now “secured”. They are set in a 4×6 layout.  After dinner I was able to get the first round of borders on and it really made a difference! I like the way the blocks end up floating in the border.  

1st border on Scrap Dance 2 Step

 I am thinking about a 4.5″ border (that is the size of the centers of the blocks). Going to either dig in the stash for fabric, or dig in the scraps for “strings” and make a string border.  Stash would be faster, but scraps are SO much more fun!  

The Bonnie Hunter quilt “Talkin’ Turkey” has a string scrap border and I really enjoyed that process, so I may go that route.  Oh boy, this may take me a few more days in August!!  Hope Carole doesn’t object to my slight “addition” to her lovely pattern. 

 (By the way; those borders for MY Talkin’ Turkey are made, but not attached yet….another OMG for another month!).  Want to know what Talkin’ Turkey is supposed to look like?  Check out this blog post from 5 years ago on Bonnie Hunter’s page – Talkin’ Turkey    (Hey, I am close to done…..Everyone that has been to my sewing room in the last 3 months wants to know WHEN am I getting it off the design wall and FINISHED!) Seriously, I  looked back to see the last time I shared photo’s and it has been a while.  I guess that quilt show and Pet Mosaic quilt side tracked me a “little”.    I am motivated to finish it up soon, but will not be THIS week!

Got my thinking cap on for sure!  For today, I am going to go play with Grandma’s Kitchen Block # 6.  This is the Pat Sloan weekly sew-along and is quite fun. Grandma’s Kitchen Free pattern  .  It won’t take long, then I shall get busy with some border decisions.

Are you sewing on a hot summer day too??

 

 

One Monthly Goal (OMG) – a place to start

Are you a goal setter?   I am a “list maker” and sometimes I totally ignore the lists in favor of something new.  I call it the “LOOK-something shiny-Syndrome”.  I admit I am easily enticed and easily distracted. It’s after 9 am and I am still in PJ’s while I am distracted reading blogs with my coffee and toast, knowing full well that in 5 -10 minutes I MUST hit the shower before someone comes over at 10!  Oh well, better make this quick!

I was reading through blog posts and saw on Peggy Cooper Quilts her post about meeting her July goal.  She asked if readers were tired of hearing about the project. I replied that I enjoyed the process she used to meet the goal.  Peggy is following along with the One Monthly Goal (OMG) on Elm Street Quilts   .  I think of my lists and projects and decided this might be the perfect PUSH for me to get some projects FINISHED …. I know, what a concept!

So, officially, I am going to use the OMG as my motivation (there are prizes at the end…hahahaha).  (Shiny stuff)

I declare my OMG project for AUGUST to be “assembling the Scrap Dance Two Step ” top.   The blocks have been constructed over the last 6 months, using the pattern developed by Carole on her blog –  From My Carolina Home

Part 5 blocks

Scrap dance two step Part 5

Part 6 blocks

12 Scrap Dance Two Step Blocks - Part 6

 

The final layout came out over a week ago, and I was tied up with the quilt show.  Now, I have some time available for my own sewing and this is going to be the August 2017 goal.  Of course, I intend to have at least the first round of borders indicated in the pattern on by the end of August, so watch for progress notes.

Linking up to the August goal  setting at Elm Street Quilts for the One Monthly Goal (OMG) !  (If you are on a computer, check out their cool button on my sidebar on this blog page)

Are you setting any goals for August?  (My next goal is a shower…….)