Carolina Hurricane Quilts and Scraps

I mentioned in a post in late September ( Carolina Hurricane Quilts )  about the Carolina Hurricane Quilts project being spearheaded by Carole  Carter on her blog – From My Carolina Home  

I made a few blocks right after that post, and gathered up supplies and made up “kits” to make more blocks.  I have a few scraps and squares and leftover half-square triangles, so it was quick to assemble those kits.  I usually don’t “save’ 4.5″ blocks, but I had LOTS of 5” squares in my Scrap storage system.  More about that in a minute…..

My wonderful bee – the Queen Bee’s took on the challenge of making blocks during our bee gathering last Tuesday.  They came armed with scraps and sewed for about 3 hours.

Queen Bees Carolina Hurricane Blocks

During the bee gathering I snapped some photos and sent them off to Carole!  It was fun to get a group photo.  Here are a couple of pictures of the members, hard at work.

Sharon Oct 2018

Marta and Nancy Oct 2018

(Sorry for the blur ladies….)

Tracy and Mary Oct 2018

(Imagine…I am actually there in a photo….that usually never happens.  Thanks Marta!)

I came home from the bee with a stack of blocks, and still a handful of the kits I made for myself.  I didn’t seem to get as much sewing done there as I had planned, so I spent the week working on more blocks.  My method for working on these has been to make “2 at a time”.  I use those  great little foam core design boards to lay out 2 blocks and move them to the iron and back to the machine, and I can “keep the angles” right fairly easily.  Look back at my blog here – Foam Core Design Boards to get info on the boards and how to construct them.

I keep making blocks, as my hand is continuing to improve following surgery.  Carole asked me if I wanted to put the blocks together into a top, and at the time, I wasn’t sure if I could manage. I think I have about 20  blocks done, and the bee had about 15 done, with more promised.  I planned to “send” them to Carole the 2nd week of November. My Queen Bees who are still making blocks are planning to bring them to me the first Monday of November.  We have such a great variety of fabrics in these blocks.  This afternoon, when the light is better I will put them all up on the design wall for a photo.  Now I am wondering if I am “able” to assemble them.  I will have to get specifics from Carole on size if I decide to do the assembly. (She reads my blog, so I am sure she will write! )

During this bee, it was fun to chat with my “bee mates”, and to learn which ones are following along with Carole on her “Autumn Jubilee 2018”, and who have enjoyed making her mystery quilts. I love that they found her through my blog posts.  I also love that Carole linked to my blog post last week.  The day she did that, I had 82 new visitors.  So, if you are a new reader, and came to find my blog because of Carole, I thank you for reading and coming back for another visit. Be sure to “follow” in your favorite method.  I love reading everyone’s comments too.

At my “next Queen Bee” gathering, I plan to work with one member  and help her come up with a plan for controlling & managing her scraps.  Bonnie Hunter   is one of my FAVORITE well known quilters and in her blog post today she talks about having “variety” in your scrappy quilts and about how to achieve that variety.  (Every January I tend to “clean up” my sewing room and cut my scraps into predetermined sizes. )  Thanks to the lessons I have learned from other bloggers, like Bonnie, and others, such as Joan Ford who has written books about working with scraps too.  I attribute my “scrap storage system” to the inspiration I have found on Bonnie’s blog.  My sizes I save, and my method for storage are unique to me, as it must be for everyone.  I will, no doubt, write about my methods in a future post.  If your curious, you can check out this post- Scrap Storage Containment System

My sister-in-law, Carolyn, wrote about her method on her blog here  One Block Wonder Woman and Scrap Overload .  If you are a “scrappy quilter” how do you “contain” the chaos of scraps?

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Summer winding down

I can’t believe August has left us and summer has wound down so quickly!  August has been a hot humid month, and September is much the same.

Our local kids went back to school on Tuesday, the day after Labor Day in the US.  Some areas of the country school has been in session for several weeks.  We live in an area that is a summer tourist destination.  A few years ago, citizens complained to the state government about schools starting in the middle of the August and not long after the legislators set a “state-wide” start date for schools.

So, as the children started back for their “First day” in Delaware, my youngest daughter, my youngest granddaughter and I ventured over to the formerly busy beach area for a bike ride! What a change a week makes in the volume of people on the trail, walking and running.  All summer it has been filled with families and young children and yesterday, it was the older crowd. A few moms with strollers around the library and right in town, but once out on the longer trail, my granddaughter in her trailer, was the only child around!  We rode a surprising 12.24 miles !

12.24 mile bike ride

I was stunned to realize how far we had gone. Up to this point, my longest ride has been about 8.5 miles.  I started riding with my daughter in early July, sometimes 2-3 times in one week. I need exercise and this is certainly a fun way to get it.  Haven’t lost one pound, but I have found my calves!  Now, I am finding myself scheduling bike rides on my calendar into October. I want to make sure I schedule the time so other things don’t get in the way of an opportunity to ride together.  I haven’t done much in the way of exercise since I retired six years ago, unless you count climbing the stairs to my sewing room multiple times a day as exercise!  So, this is GOOD.  As I approach my mid 60’s, those looming health issues we all face demand I do something, and I love to ride.

My bike is a TREX, era 1990’s, with good tires, though heavy and a bit squeaky and with it’s quirks.  My oldest daughter rode this bike in middle school and high school during that decade, and I rode it off & on in the years following. I put a “new bike” on my Christmas / Spring birthday wish list for myself, determined not to buy one until I have at least 6 months of riding  regularly. I really love the local bike shop, LifeCycle in Milford DE. My daughter introduced me to the owners, Ben and Jenn, during a community ride they organize.  I’ve done several with a big group, 40 or more riders, and some with smaller groups that my daughter has organized and I am having fun!   All in all, a positive direction to move in.

Yes, I am still sewing, and I managed to get a few projects done last week.  Those batik placemats are coming along. I found a nice 3 yard piece of batik in my “blues” bin and think I can get just about all of my placemats backed with it.  I layered and pin basted them and started quilting them over the last week.

half way done with placemats

I have 9 quilted, trimmed and ready to bind.  If you click the photo, it will take you to my FLICKR album. Give the picture a second to focus, then you can zoom in and see the free motion quilting (FMQ) on the placemats.  It has been good practice.  The quilting has been done on my domestic sewing machine using Superior Fantastico # 5021, a variegated blue turquoise and purple 40 weight on top and in the bobbin. Thankfully you can’t really “see” the quilting on those busy batiks on the front of the placemats, but boy can you see it on the back.  I will show a photo of the backs ‘next time’.   Let’s just leave it as “good practice” for my FMQ and I am getting better bit by bit.

Next up for projects is a quick one I did on Labor Day afternoon.  I made two bibs to include in a “baby basket” that will be raffled off at our spring quilt show.  Since I made so many for my youngest granddaughter, I feel comfortable making these for that event. I tried to pick fabrics that looked modern and might appeal to a young parent.

Bandana bib

I love this bandana style.  I did minimal quilting in a graphic manner, just enough to hold the batting firmly in place that is between the layers.  I made a second bib in a more traditional shape with 2 contrasting fabrics.  I just love this bright green leaf print.

Flip side of the black bib

I think it makes a nice reversible to this dot fabric in bright colors.

Traditional bib

I did a bit more quilting on this bib in a wide graphic shape. They are bagged up and ready for delivery!

While I had my “bib making supply box” out, I sorted out all the fabrics I had stored in it, and returned most to my stash, leaving just the basics in the box, like patterns and PUL laminated fabric for waterproofing.

I found a great pattern and instructions for a free “in the hoop” zip bag last week through a group on Facebook.  I was happy to find one that would work with the 4×4 hoop on my Brother PE500.

Pattern Paw Print Zipper bag

The instructions are so well written, and it was worth the 12-14 pages I had to print out, to follow along.  I downloaded the design and got busy!

Paw Print zipper bag

This little pouch finished at 3.5″ square.  I did use some 505 spray, for temporary adhesive while construction was underway, along with my narrow masking tape.  The instructions have you pinning fabric edges, but I found that I liked the masking tape. I am now on the hunt for short zippers that I can use on some future projects!  I have a bunch of 18″ ones I purchased at a quilt shop a couple of years ago, but they are really too big for this project and would be wasteful.  I’ve dug in my sewing box and come up with a few short ones.  I have a similar in the hoop pattern from another designer that puts the loop on the left side of the zipper, and I am going to try it next. Bother patterns use the same size pieces for the pouch.  I have 3 pouches “cut out” and kitted up for my next embroidery club gathering.

I do like these quick projects that I can finish in a day or two.  I keep working on my placemats, in between, some of these other fun projects.  It’s nice to have some “finishes” once in a while.

I had to laugh with my husband about all of my quilt tops that are on hangers, patiently waiting for me to finish them.  I have to go in search for a heavy duty hanger for one, which was too weighty for the hanger and broke it this week.  It is a queen size that is in a state of “limbo”, just hanging around waiting for my next move.  I believe it is my Scrap Dance Tango in king size. (Pattern is from Carole – From My Carolina Home.  (Follow the above link for pattern information). The one with 1400 or so half square triangles.  It is a beauty, and one that I must get busy and quilt.  I seem to remember I wanted to add a 2.5″ border all around. Must be time to spread it out on the bed and see if the size is as I wanted it to be and move forward from it’s status.  Our quilt show registration is opening next week, and I think I want to show this one, so I must get busy.  I need to make a “finish it list” to move it along!  Carole – From My Carolina Home always has fun projects and great posts.

I also follow some rather “famous in the quilt world” people.  Bonnie Hunter has been a favorite for a long time, and I have done a couple of her mystery quilts and taken 2 of her classes.  .   Those that have followed my blog know that I love her scrappy style and I have written about her scrap storage system, string piecing and linked to her blog many times.  This week she is mourning the loss of her brother and I know that the tens of thousands that are her fans feel her grief and offer their sympathy.  She has a worldwide following and I hope she can find strength from the “quilty hugs” many of us are sending her way.  I pray for peace in her heart and comfort for her entire family.  

Many quilters find peace during their sewing time, and comfort in the quiet time they spend in their sewing rooms.  I’ve read about quilters who work through their grief while stitching in the wee hours of the night. I enjoy the solitude sometimes in my sewing room, and yet, I find great joy in the times I can sew with my friends at a bee.  I hope you have a wonderful day working on your special projects.

 

 

 

Grandma’s Kitchen Update and Scrap Management

Once I got all those “scraps” put away, I felt free to sew again!  More about scraps in a bit.

I’ve been working on a pattern by Pat Sloan called Grandma’s Kitchen.  This project was a “weekly” block beginning last June and concluding in December.  I’ve been posting periodic updates as my blocks were made.  I am primarily using 30’s reproduction fabrics, but have used some more modern fabrics for the neutrals.

I am now starting to build those blocks up into “rows”.  The pattern has lots of “filler” pieces that were not part of the original block construction.  About October the layout was released and when I saw those “filler” pieces, I decided to wait until all 25 blocks were made and I could make better choices of fabrics.

You might remember if you have been reading my posts that I spent a little time with the printed pattern and my felt tips markers planning.  My choices were made, and even the hubby got involved in the fabric decisions. (He really is a smart guy when it comes to this planning !)

Once I got all those “scraps” put away, I felt free to sew again!

I also have finally beaten the bronchitis that has laid me low for 3 weeks, so hanging out for hours in the sewing room has been a joy!  I worked on Row A on Friday.

Row A Grandma's Kitchen

The yellow strips are those “filler strips”.  I am using the yellow where ever the pattern called for a dark strip.  The white strips around the 2nd block (the candy dish as Pat called it) are a coordinating print.  I chose it for where ever the pattern called for a light strip. I used this white in several blocks during .

The friendship stars (4th block from the left) were “filler blocks”.  I used a bit of that red in another block near the end of the process, so I thought it would be nice to bring it near the top of the quilt. Balancing all these fabrics is kind of fun.  I want the colors not to appear to heavy in one area.

The next photo will show Rows A – C made.  I worked on Rows B & C late Saturday.

Rows A - C Grandma's Kitchen

Row B has more “friendship stars” in the first block, and I was glad the red was spaced out a bit, and glad I did not use the same fabrics for the filler blocks.   Row B has filler blocks (orange and purple checkerboard made with 2″ squares) and strips of white and yellow, and a “repeat” of the last block in the row that I had to create.

Row C had a much larger “checkerboard” that was a full block.  These were made with 2.5″ squares. Following the pattern, it was interesting to work this one, because the bottom row was to be all the “dark” (red)checkers, and it continued on, under the next block as a filler.  I went with it, and find it is interesting. I was surprised, because I would have thought making them the light (yellow) checkers would be more logical. Who am I to argue with the designer!

I’m having fun putting this part of the project together.  There are a lot of decisions yet to be made on fabrics as I approach the remaining stack of blocks.  I know which “colors” I want to use for the upcoming filler blocks, but not which fabric yet. I’ll get there & give you another look as I make further progress.  While I am making these filler blocks, there are scraps being generated! I’m keeping everything together so far, as I don’t know which bits & pieces I may work into the project.

Scrap Storage System – more info!

Speaking of scraps…here are some pictures from my last round!  It never ceases to amaze me how much “good stuff” is left at the end of a quilting project!

Ready to put away

This is the “last” of the pieces out of my yellow stacker.  They are cut and ready to put away!

Someone asked me how I “store” my scraps once they are cut to size.  I like “uniform” containers and am trying to get similar containers for all my scraps.  I like to size the container based on the size of the cut piece. Too big of a container means the little pieces get bounced around and messy.  I’ve already ironed these, and don’t want to do it again. I want to reach in the container and USE the pieces without going back to the iron.  I need to “invest” again in containers and house my 2.5″ squares and my 2″ squares. I have an over abundance of both and have resorted to cardboard boxes and plastic baskets.  (I also have a container the size of the one on the bottom left FULL of 2″ squares in ziplocks…leftover from 2 of those “watercolor” classes. UFO!!!)

Scrap Management Storage containers

I am using “shoeboxes” for strings.  Generally I consider a string anything that is 2″ or smaller.  These tend to be pieces that are not “width of fabric” and are the first thing I grab when I feel like making string blocks.  Mostly they are sorted by color family. The reds and oranges and yellows are together, the blues and purples are together and the neutrals are together. The boxes aren’t labeled yet, but are easy to figure out. I like them in color families because I like my string blocks more “orderly”.  I do have a container of 1.5″ strips in the previous photo and that box gets full rather fast, and when it does, the remainder end up in the string box. String pieces may not be as carefully trimmed to size, as I don’t care if the piece is 1 3/4″ or 1 5/8″…the precision is not necessary.

Shoeboxes for strings

In my previous post, Scrap Decisions , I included a chart with the range of sizes that I cut and store.  Someone commented about the “bricks”…those are the rectangles.  I don’t cut a lot of them, but I do use them from time to time, and find them handy to have on hand.

If you are just starting out with “saving your scraps” – you might not want to keep as many sizes etc as I do.  You have to figure out what you are going to use!  Because I follow Bonnie Hunter, I mirrored my system along the lines of hers, using sizes she typically includes in her patterns.  On her blog, she has a tab called Tips & Techniques, and on it you will find a blog post about her Scrap User’s system – Bonnie Hunter’s Scrap User’s System

The link to Bonnie’s system is very lengthy, so get a cup of coffee, and read (after you finished reading my post of course)!  And bookmark her blog, and LOOK AROUND at the wealth of free information she willingly shares with her readers!  She has a tab for FREE PATTERNS and at the top of that page is a handy chart which sorts her patterns by “strip size and block and brick size”.  This might help you chose what to store!  And it might help you decide “how” you want to store your scraps.

I also follow other quilters, like Pat Sloan who offers lots of sew-alongs that include free patterns. (Fore example Grandma’s Kitchen!)  On her website http://www.patsloan.com/  you have to “work a little harder” to find her free patterns.  She has a ton of stuff, so spend some time there as well.

Lastly, I mentioned in other posts, that I used information from Joan Ford as I developed my “Scrap Storage System“.   Joan’s website https://hummingbird-highway.com/ will give you links to books she has written on the topic, and why she saves what she saves as well as freebies and fun stuff.

What ever system you follow or develop for yourself, make sure it is one that will work for you and that you will find yourself USING your scraps!  I also have fun posting my scrap projects periodically and sharing the post with OH SCRAP!  

I find lots of other “like minded” scrap quilters projects on the weekly link-up and enjoy perusing their blog posts!  (In fact…I am linking up today!)  (You might have noticed a button to OH SCRAP on the sidebar!)

I have had a great time making projects using patterns that Carole – https://frommycarolinahome.wordpress.com/ has come up with, and I have USED those scraps from my Scrap Storage System in every one of her “Scrap Dance” projects.  My scrap boxes are full right now, and I am looking forward to the Scrap Dance Square Dance project she has on her blog.  This is a monthly project.  I may “increase” my size from twin to something larger if the mood (and the overflowing boxes) call to me.  (There is a button on my sidebar to Carole’s blog)

Do you save your scraps?  How do you do it? Do you follow other scrap quilters?  Who ??

Scrap Decisions

I have mastered the scraps!  I have battled and won!  They are contained!  I have trimmed and cut and put order to some of the chaos and declare victory! Phew….that’s enough for now!  Yesterday I declared victory over the basket of blues, and since then I have gone through the red & oranges and basket of browns & blacks.  The yellow stacker is EMPTY!  (Ok; I haven’t tackled the laundry hamper and those zip lock bags, but I have met my goal!!!)

I was getting a little anxious because nearly a week has gone by and I had not “pulled” my fabric for Carole’s Scrap Dance Square Dance Mystery Quilt!  Are you dancing too???  Info on the mystery is here – Square Dance Begins

As I was taming the scraps, I was setting aside pieces cut to size for the Square Dance Mystery.

Step One is to cut those fabrics.

Today, I gathered up those pieces and counted out what was required and determined I had plenty set out for a Twin Sized project.  All is ready except my fabric A which needs to be cut.

Scrap Dance Square Dance Fabric pull

(Do you see Elvis?)  (Notice the Superman fabric?)  (How about those wonderful fish?) (and Cats?) (hiding in among these lovelies are llamas too!)

Selections for Scrap Dance Square Dance

 

Everything came directly from the scraps in the “yellow stacker” that I have mentioned in the last few blog posts except Fabric A.  I (gasp) took it out of my neutral box that was set aside for my Bonnie Hunter project that is a UFO. It was “just the right size”.  I went with it because Carole had suggested a tone on tone would be favorable for this constant Fabric A.

Fabric A - the ONE constant

So, many thanks to the friends who have gifted me their scraps in the last year!  I look forward to including them all in this Square Dance mystery!

When you are out “shopping” for fabrics, I strongly encourage you to pick up a few yards of those great neutrals that work for background fabrics and stash them away.  A few days ago a friend of mine came in search of “low volume” neutrals for background fabrics. Sometimes they are not easy to find, and we went “digging” in the scrap bins for her bits and pieces.

I am heading “back” to the sewing room to cut “Fabric A” and put all those lovely scraps that I have cut and sorted for this project into a nice basket to await Step 2 in February!  And, perhaps, between now and then I will get back to one of those other projects that has been hanging around for a while!

Happy scrapping!

PS – One of my readers asked “what sizes” do I cut and save – Here is “MY” list – which, as I have mentioned is a combination of Bonnie Hunter and Joan Ford.  I have this list on the wall by my cutting table, and it is a good reminder. It helps me to look at the fabric and get the best use from a raggedy mess!  Remember – press and CUT THE SCRAPS!

CUT THE SCRAPS
SQUARES BRICKS
1.5 2 x 3
2 2 x 3.5
2.5 2.5 x 3.5
3 2.5 x 6
3.5 2.5 x 6.5
4.5 3 x 5
5 3.5 x 6
STRIPS
1.5
2
2.5
3.5
4
5
6

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!

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?

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!