Sewing at the Assisted Living facility etc

On Thursdays, I often go sew with the residents at Brandywine Assisted Living.  I started this project after my friend June moved into the facility.  June has been out of commission for over 2 months due to a fall, breaking her back, being in hospital and rehab and unable to get around very much.  I saw her last in early June, and found out recently she had gone back to the hospital.  Turns out what was really giving her pain were two broken ribs, besides the injury to her back.  Well, I like to report I saw her this week, up and walking, with a smile on her face!  She wasn’t up to sewing yet, but she is in much better state. I was so glad to see her!  Apparently she had been “out for a walk”, with an aide, while we were sewing.  We all got to visit for a few minutes, and even her hubby is in better spirits since she is doing so much better.  My hubby was very pleased to see both June and her hubby.  So, thanks to my readers who have kept dear June in thought and prayer!

I have 2 “regulars” , besides June, who like to work on projects,  Trish and Dee.  Trish is the “seamstress” at Brandywine.  Everybody brings Trish things to hem, fix etc.  She often gets asked to make things for people and is generous with her time.  She “travels” to the room where we sew with her machine in the box, on the seat of her rolling walker.  She is a very independent woman, who still drives, and goes to classes at the local quilt shop about 10 miles away. Trish brought a lovely bag she had just made for “show & tell”.  Trish is not a quilter, but since I am, that is the direction I am taking the sewing group. The other “regular” is Dee.  She IS a quilter, and enjoys working with the fabric and is a power sewer.  No instruction needed about 1/4 ” seam allowances or “right sides together” or “chain piecing”.

I was given a bankers box of 4.5″ squares several months ago, and thought they would be a perfect start for these ladies.  I never know how many people are coming, and this gave me a huge variety of fabric to have ready to sew.  Dee and Trish started their quilts in May, laying out blocks they liked, etc.  Dee wanted to make a lap quilt, and Trish a baby quilt.  This box of squares had a wide variety, and made a good jumping off point.  They enjoyed going through stacks of squares looking for fabrics that met their personal requirements!  Last month I suggested to Trish that she order 2 yards of white fabric for use as sashing.

Trish called me early in the week and let me know her fabric had arrived.  When I arrived this week, she had her fabric ready to cut. My quilter’s assistant (aka husband) helped Trish, handing her blocks and replacing them on the design “wall”.  (Our design wall is a plastic table cloth with flannel back!)  I cut sashing strips and posts, while Trish sewed.  With that extra pair of hands, we cut just the right amount of strips, and Trish was able to get them sewn on one side of the block, and all the posts sewn on the remaining strips.  She was so happy with how the scrappy blocks were setting with the sashing!  Trish was also very appreciative of my “Quilter’s helper”, keeping her pieces straight on the the design space!  I have several yards of a very pretty fabric (from June’s fabric stash) that will get used for the backing.

Quilting at Brandywine Assisted Living

Quilters assistant Bill with Trish!  They both were having a good time.  I think they will be disappointed if Bill doesn’t come “next time”!  

Next time I go to sew, I will get a picture of Dee hard at work.  This week wasn’t a good time for a photo of her.  She had taken a bad fall and her face is still severely bruised. She had an interesting story to share to accompany the bruises, and let’s just say, be careful when you are in a hurry!

While I was cutting fabric, and pressing parts for the ladies, my phone was buzzing and ringing.  I had 2 friends reaching out to check on “my” well being. While we were away from home, there was an accident on our busy road, right in front of our house. We came home to find the roadway covered in sand (to absorb the oil/fuel spills I suppose) and orange markings all over the road and in our lawn.

Lucky we have a fence!

We could not figure out what had happened, but were thankful our fence was still in place. (I know, time for power washing and painting again! It’s been 8 years…)

I posted the picture above on Facebook and asked if anyone knew what had happened.  Another friend sent me a link to the local fire company photo’s of the accident.  Now the orange paint makes sense. The marks in our grass were LR (Left Rear) and RR (Right rear).

I am guessing the red car crossed the center lane and hit the white car head on, pushing the white car back into our yard and narrowly missing our fence.  I just don’t understand how this can happen at 35 mph!  Big, wide shoulders on both sides of the road.  I’m still shaking my head.  (Not that everyone really drives the speed limit……) Neighbors who have to turn into the development across the street from us often talk about how risky making the turn is, with people passing on the right shoulder, rather than waiting for them to make the turn.  Completely illegal in Delaware to pass on the shoulder.  Getting out of our driveway during “commute times” is challenging, and we often have to wait 2 or 3 minutes for traffic.  The speed limit changes to 25 mph just north of our house, so everyone going south is “speeding up” to the 35 mph (or higher) and traffic going north into town is (should be) slowing from 45 to 35 to 25….but that doesn’t happen.  I guess we won’t know the “rest of the story” about this accident, but we were grateful to find the mailbox and fence intact when we arrived home a couple of hours after the incident. Both of these vehicles were seriously damaged, and I pray the occupants were not seriously injured. I could see in other photo’s that the “side curtain” air bags had deployed on the white Kia.

I am thankful to, for those friends who cared enough to check on our well being. And, I am even more thankful that my husband decided to ride along with me to Brandywine to visit with June and Walt, instead of staying home to cut grass in the summer heat and humidity. Cutting that “strip” in front of the fence is always risky with the road traffic, but today is Saturday, much cooler and less traffic too!  I should be out weeding, but I have a sundress to make!

Stay safe on the roads this long holiday week, and slow down, give others a break, leave early and put down your phones while you are driving.

Grandma’s Kitchen – Some assembly completed

Grandma’s Kitchen – Some assembly completed!

Some decisions still to make!

before borders Grandma's Kitchen

(before borders)

 

I have gotten the rows assembled and joined, 2 borders on.  The photo below shows the colors of the borders better than the photo’s of the whole top, because of the lighting.  (I seem to be taking these photo’s late at night!)

Border fabrics for Grandma's Kitchen

With the current borders, the top currently measures 73 1/2″ wide x  92 1/2″ long.  I am contemplating one more round of borders so I can use it on my queen size guest bed.  I think I will bring it in from the sewing room today and lay it out on that bed and take a look and see what kind of drop I want.  I think I need to add 10 1/2 inches for a queen on the width.

closeup of borders Grandma's kitchen

Someone on the Quilt Along with Pat Sloan Facebook group yesterday asked me about the fabrics when I posted a photo.  If you have been following along since last summer, you know that primarily I am using 30’s reproduction. Many are Aunt Grace by Marcus Fabrics, like the pink border (Simpler Sampler).  I used the pink from the border in 2 blocks – in  the checkerboard block in the center of row C below –

Rows A - C Grandma's Kitchen

and in block 25 –

Block 25 Grandma's Kitchen

There are several companies doing 30’s fabrics now, and I lost track of all the names.  I used Spring Fling for PB Textiles by Terry Atkinson & Liz Lois, for the white and yellow print that is in many of the “filler pieces, and in some of the blocks (like block 4 below). I liked it because they coordinated nicely.  Some of the whites, like the stripe tone on tone are “just scraps” from my stash.  The medium blue 2.5″ border is VIP by Cranston (2011). It is a nice blender and I had just 1/2 yard in my blue box of stash.  There are several tones of blue in various blocks and it was the best choice with the pink border.

Yesterday, I ordered the backing fabric and it appears to be “on the way”.  I went in search of 30’s reproduction in a wide backing. Marcus Fabrics had one print that I already included in the quilt manufactured in 108″ width.   Way back in block 4 I used the white background multi floral in the 4 patch center of the block.  In the pattern, this block was partially repeated, and I had enough to use again in another 4 patch, and in some of the filler blocks.  I was pleased to find a fabric that would really work with the quilt!

Block 4 of 25 Grandma's Kitchen Challenge, pattern by Pat Sloan

My challenge turned out to be getting a 3 yard cut, and my first order had to be cancelled when the shop only had 2 2/3 yard….  The fun thing about a group like Quilt Along with Pat Sloan is how helpful people are when you post.  One lady got busy searching and found two other sources, and I communicated with one and verified they had what I wanted and I placed my order, and got confirmation of shipping late last night.  By going to the manufacturers web site, I was able to get a list of shops that had ordered the fabric, and that is how I started my search originally.  I tried to order from shops I had done business with in the past, and I quickly learned the fabric was not going to be easy to find !  Turns out, Marcus did several of the prints in 56″ wide, but only this print in two color options in the 108″ width! R34-5878-0199 by Judie Rothermel

So this is where I am at on the project as of yesterday —

Borders on Grandma's Kitchen

If you have an interest in seeing the blocks “up close”, you can see them all in my Grandma’s Kitchen Flickr Album  

or search back thru the blog posts using the Grandma’s Kitchen tag as a search criteria.

The pattern for this quilt is available for free from Pat Sloan – http://www.ilovetomakequilts.com/grandmas-kitchen-sew-along.html

Pat is doing a “quilting” series for this pattern, so now, I need to go study!

If you were to add 1 more border, what color would you go with? I may have to go out and survey the 30’s yardage I still have, and start making some choices.  (Do you remember that clothesline fabric with the black background?  Oh, how I wanted to use that in this quilt, but it was such a large print, and the scale was just too big!)

What are you working on?

The final 3 blocks for Grandma’s Kitchen

I had a lot of fun picking and choosing from my stack of fabrics for the final 3 blocks of the Grandma’s Kitchen pattern.  I mentioned previously that I did a little “balancing” of colors, as I have a big variety with my 1930’s reproduction fabrics.

Block 23 –

Block 23 Grandma's Kitchen

Block 24 –

Block 24 Grandma's Kitchen

Block 25 –

Block 25 Grandma's Kitchen

Now that all 25 blocks are made, I am considering all those filler blocks the pattern has called for.  There are 3 more units of “friendship stars”, several sets of “checkerboard blocks”, and lots of what I would call “filler strips”.  These filler strips are giving me something to think about.  I am trying to decide if I am just going with one of my white background fabrics; or maybe pull in another yellow, with some very tiny print.  If you haven’t seen the final layout, take a look at Pat’s post here – The final layout plan

Here are my thoughts….I have a lot of very “different” prints and colors going on.  I put them all in an album together on flicker if you want to take a look – Grandma’s Kitchen Blocks album

I think the blocks need something to “calm them down” and “give your eye a place to rest” or “a bit of space”.  This is what leads me to the white.  I have been doodling and coloring – Thank goodness for lots of fine tip markers and lots of copies of the pattern.

Making sense of the layout

I’ve set aside fabrics for some of those filler blocks, made one of the checkerboard sections for row 3(using the same fabrics as block 25), and decided what fabrics those extra friendship stars will use.

Next time you see it, I will have it stitched together as a full top…but that will be a while.

I’m in slow down mode as of this afternoon!  I had to deliver my beloved Janome 8900 to the sewing center for service. Long & short of it – my machine does NOT like the thread painting class I took today. Sadly, I paid for a class that I only managed to sew for about half of, and then spent the rest of the class battling the machine.  I went straight from class to take the machine for repair.  Tomorrow, out will come my beloved Featherweight, and I will “begin again”.

Meanwhile, there are lots of scraps to be sorted and trimmed and put away, so I might get busy with that job.  I have LOTS to get squared away!   I am going to try and get some cleared up before Carole puts out the first edition of Scrap Dance Square Dance Mystery QuiltWill you be sewing along?  Carole said she is going to have us “use up leftovers, precuts,  charm squares, jelly roll strips ” etc.  I tend to cut my scraps to the “largest size” for my storage system, so I should have plenty of 5″ squares, lots of 2.5″ strips.  I don’t buy pre-cuts usually, but I do have a big collection of fat quarters (which are NOT scraps….)  I think I will start with the overflowing basket of GREENS!

What’s on your project list??

Final sewing of 2017

My last “sewing” for 2017 has been done!  I spent a few hours “cleaning up” and “putting away” a lot of mess in my sewing room. I cleaned off my cutting table and put a lot of stuff away.  I cleared off my “work table” and made room for a project.

Once that was done, I pulled out my pattern book and box of fabric and basket of blocks for Grandma’s Kitchen – by Pat Sloan.

I stopped working on these in mid October before I left on a trip for a month. These are the first 16 blocks(not in pattern order).

Sixteen blocks completed

I needed to pick up at block 17 and hopefully finish up at block 25; plus make all the setting blocks.  (That is going to take a week or two).

But before I could even begin to sew I had to figure out the layout with the various size blocks and how I was going to “balance” the colors throughout the rest of the quilt. What I decided to do is lay the blocks out, as the pattern indicated, and do a little “coloring” so I could plan the future blocks.  (LOTS OF PLANNING still needs to happen!)

Making sense of the layout

Once the planning for the next 2 blocks was done, I got busy and made block 16, and pulled the fabrics for block 17.  I think it did help to do a bit of coloring, because I could better understand as I colored in the blocks, where there needed to be more of a particular color.  I know I need to get a little more pink and purple and orange into the quilt.  I am trying to decide how to do those filler blocks and make sense of them too. I made a decision on the fabric for the “spool block” too.  I want to use one of the stripe fabrics I have for the middle of the spool.  (While I was sorting piles of fabric, my husband was watching, and figured out what I was up to and provided a bit of his color sense to what I was doing. I find his opinion most helpful).

Meanwhile, my design wall has been full for the last 6 months and I need to get going to get the borders on my Talkin’ Turkey!

1 row to go

That is all it needs. (The blocks and rows and columns are all sewn together, and the borders are made, ready to attach!)  I need to free up my design wall!!

I decided that I will “stop again” after block 17, and clear the work table and get those borders on, so I can get the Grandma’s Kitchen blocks up on the design wall!  Priorities.  🙂 (It is so much easier to sit back and ponder the layout on the wall than on a flat surface) (I told the hubby I need another design wall…..capable of holding a king size quilt! I just don’t have a spot for it.  Wondering if anybody “layers” their design wall and puts more that one quilt on it at a time??  Hmmmmm)

Following all that contemplation and coloring, I did finally do a little sewing – the last for 2017.

I present block 16 for now…..more to follow in 2018!

Block 17 Grandma's Kitchen

Happy New Year everyone!

California Thomas Fire Quilts – help wanted

This morning, I read a blog post by Carole – From My Carolina Home about making quilts for victims of the California Thomas Fire.  Please take a minute to finish reading my post, then hop over and read Carole’s post.  Maybe you can help as well.

Essentially, Carole is asking her readers to help out with blocks and donations for batting and backing to create 2 quilts.  She is offering to assemble the blocks she receives, and long arm quilt them, bind them and get them into deserving hands.   You will see her motivation when you read her blog post.  Maybe you will be inspired to help as well.

I went out to my very cold sewing room, the one over the garage, this afternoon, got the heat cranked up. When it hit 58, I felt like I could proceed and do a bit of sewing.  (The weather report says we got to 31 today, but it has been bitterly cold the last few nights, now in the mid teens…..)  Hubby has a big propane heater downstairs, so he fired it up to 60, and we have 4 space heaters upstairs….2 by his hobby area, and 2 by my sewing area. Lots of wide open space to try to heat!  (He waited until I got it up to 62 before he wandered out to play at his train desk! )

Anyway, I looked at this pattern for the blocks Carole is asking for, and got out my trusty “scrap storage system” box of 5″ squares.  Would you believe, I had some half-square triangle blocks just sitting there waiting to be put to use, along with LOTS of 5″ squares.  I did have to construct a few more HST, but I worked in groups of two blocks, and it was easy. I trimmed everything to 4.5″ and started stitching.  I love laying out my blocks on my design boards that I made last summer. (I am thinking about making 2 more!!)

Using my boards

I got 6 blocks finished for Carole, all from the scrap storage boxes.  They were EASY to make!  I had a little fun with the fabric too. Can you spot the dogs??

Six blocks for the Thomas Fire relief quilts

I came across a stack of 5″ squares I have been hording for a while, and took a little break and made some more of those fun coasters. These particular fabrics seemed a little bit “floral” for the blocks Carole is needing.

Spring coasters

I have 2 more blocks laid out on the design boards to make tomorrow.  I am going back into the “scrap system” and look for some fabrics that are more masculine (or less floral)  tomorrow. I may actually have to “cut up some scraps” to do that!

The blocks are quick and easy, a good way to use up some scraps, and will go to a great purpose.   Now,  please – go read Carole’s blog post, and see if you can help in some small way. Pattern is below for your convenience.  When you send your blocks, let her know how you found out about her efforts with this project!!

If you can’t help by making blocks, Carole has some other suggestions on ways you can help financially.

 

edit – linking up to  — OH SCRAP

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. 

Block 12 and other bits and pieces

Welcome to new readers! I have had several new followers this week, and I haven’t written anything. It’s that busy Quilt Guild meeting week syndrome.  We had our “first meeting” of the fiscal year on Monday at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in Lewes DE where the new officers were “sworn in”, and it was membership renewal time.  Guess who is one of the co-chairs?  Yes…..(hard word to stop saying)…..At least I am sharing the job, and I don’t have a lot of “STUFF” to cart home!  We have 250+ members and over 1/2 renewed during the hour before the meeting began. Thank goodness for great volunteers, who worked the tables and who accepted checks, handed out membership cards and checked details for the roster. They did all the work while my co-chair and I helped 7 new members !  So exciting to see the guild continuing to grow.  If you are in our little part of the world, and you are looking for a guild, find our website Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Lewes DE.

Of course, along with the membership rosters to update, I had to “balance the books” with the receipts for the day, and spent Tuesday afternoon with the Treasurer getting checks ready for deposit. We got together at a local quilt shop, Serendipity Quilt Shop in Dagsboro DE, and filled out deposit slips etc.  Before she arrived, I did manage a little shopping.  I have a class coming up in Dover with Sandi Blackwell.  The workshop is called “Spiral Out Workshop” .  The pattern in the workshop instructions showed Christmas colors, and I decided that is what I would use as well.  I managed to get everything pre-washed, ironed, and pre-cut as instructed. It is all in a basket, and ready for Tuesday, a week from now.  Watch for that project in an upcoming blog post!  (This class is sponsored by Helping Hands Quilt Guild, Dover DE. )

Wednesday is the release for Pat Sloan’s block of the week, Grandma’s Kitchen.  This week she talked about the kitchen door leading outside from Grandma’s kitchen. Sorry, not  1 kitchen door story comes to mind.  My Grandma Bessie lived in an old fashioned trailer with a few rooms attached, and the door from the kitchen area led right out into the living room. Pat talked about setting out all your blocks and looking for colors that needed more representation if you were using more than 2 or 3 colors.  I did that before I chose my colors, but I pretty well decided after block 11 what would be next, regardless of the pattern.  I knew I wanted more yellow and more orange.

12 out of 25 Grandma's kitchen

I think there is a fair amount of red, pink blue green and purple already in the project. That yellow from block one, upper left corner, needed to be used again, and I played a bit with “which orange” to use. I wanted it to show as the “dark color”, so I chose the deeper orange.  I liked this one in particular because it had a touch of blue, and there is a lot of blue elements showing in the yellow patterns.  I used a tone on tone white floral again for the background, the same one as the “apron” block.

Block 12 of 25 Grandma's Kitchen

 

I also was able to get my applique stitching done on block 11 and block 8, since my JANOME  8900 is finally home from the repair. (She is purring like a kitten!!)  I am happy to be caught up again!

I got a chance to go on a bus trip on Thursday, with the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild, to the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza. It was held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks PA.  Huge place!  Lots of quilts and lots of shopping opportunity.  Since I had a “big day” shopping for fabric on Tuesday, I restrained myself.  I did pick up 3 more red 1930’s reproduction pieces.  I am saving those for another block!

I took my “list” of Superior Threads on hand/needed, and only bought 1 cone of thread, and two packs of needles at their booth.  Usually I buy in bundles of 3, to save about $3-5 per cone. I had stocked up at the Hershey show in July, so I just needed 1 color.  (Talk about restraint, I wanted one of EVERYTHING).  I did treat myself to some “1 yard cuts” of fabric from a vendor who is “getting out of the cotton and going to wool” business.  You can’t pass up $5 / yard quilt fabric.  He was also selling his fat quarters for $1.25 which is about 1/3 of the price everyone else was charging.  I did pick up a few from him.  I was shopping for floral though, and he really did not have what I wanted in fat quarters.  I did find a vendor that had just what I was looking for, and I got 8 or 10. I then found another “bundle” at that same dealer, that had a lovely collection, and I couldn’t resist. No self restraint there.

My plan for the floral fabric is another log cabin cross wall hanging. I did all the cutting on Friday.  On Saturday, I managed to get 2 rectangular sections made. Then, I realized I had done 2 identical units, and they needed to be opposing units.  BIG SIGH.  The pattern I am following is one I have made twice before. You would have thought I would know better. I guess, since it was 2 years ago, I can forgive myself.  Last time I made this pattern, I wrote about it here –  New Log Cabin Cross Banner .

Oh well, I cut more fabric, and made different fabric choices too.  Before I started cutting more fabric, I decided to eliminate the pinks, and went with yellows.  By the end of the evening Sunday, I have the top ready to layer and quilt.  I’m much happier with the fabric choices too.

Log Cabin Cross

Course, I still have those 2 blue & pink rectangle log cabin blocks that I have to come up with “a plan” for.  Hubby said I should figure out how to use them on the back of this project!  Not sure about that idea, but I am sure I can ind a way to use them for something.

What did you work on this past week?  Anything exciting in the coming week???

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!

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…….)