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!

Another fun speaker and class

The first week of the month is always “QUILT WEEK” on my calendar. We have our Ocean Waves Quilt Guild meeting on Monday morning, with a lecture, a class on Tuesday and a board meeting on Thursday, followed up by a Quilt Show meeting the following Monday. It can seem a little overwhelming.  Unless of course you get a great speaker like Michele Scott McColligan.  She gave such a great presentation, was funny and really helped us to understand that we are not ever going to make the “perfect” quilt!  She said those “civilians” (non-quilters)  will look at your work and ohhh and ahhh.  As a “self taught” quilter, she made lots of mistakes in the process.  She is a great designer and I encourage you to look for her work in the magazines.  Michele is one of the last speakers that I had booked for the guild, and I am so happy it was a big success.

Tuesday I took a class called Usin’ Fusin’ to Express Yourself!  taught by Michele Scott McColligan.  I certainly learned a lot during the class, and was very pleased with the information given to the guild members during the class.  She and her “Quilter’s support staff”,  passed out a file folder filled with information!  I really like that, being able to take those things home and refer back later.    Michele’s website is full of information.  Also, on the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild website, we have a file with class information, and included was a list of recommend fusible materials that you might find helpful.  You will find it on page two of the PDF – Michele’s class information

There were choices of the project, working with the concepts she was teaching.  Most of those in attendance elected the “kit project”.  The kits had “everything” in them to make the projects.   Here is a sampling of some of the works –

Ginny quilting her project OWQG Class

Ginny is the current VP of Programs and classes!

Trimming the project OWQG class

 

Cindy working on her project OWQG class

OWQG Class

Suzanne's flower - OWQG

Kim's flower OWQG

 

OWQG Class

Only one person beside myself chose the “beach scene”, which was a bit “larger project”.  (If you looked at that list of Michele’s class supplies , you will see the options.)  The beach scene was 18 x 36, and you brought all your own fabrics and fusing etc.  The Fusible Flowers was an 18×20 kit.

We did some sharing of fabrics and ideas along the way. She gave me blue tulle, and I gave her aqua.  I found somebody who had just the “right blue” in their fabric collection who would share with her.  She shared a couple of the batiks with me, and also gave me a nice strip to use for my extra elements.  As you will note, my project is still “in the works”.

Mary's underwater project OWQG class

It has some other elements that I want to add, and borders too.  My classmates were eager to share yarns for couching and tulle for layering.  (Sorry about the wrinkles, it just came out of the project bin after being folded up for the ride home).

Adding some turtles

A few close ups of my water scene.  The turtles came from a fat quarter I had been holding on to for a few years!

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The footprints in the sand came from another “saved fat quarter”.

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This last picture shows the color variations in the water that were done by “layering” fabrics with fusibles. There is blue tulle netting over the water.  I free motion quilted over the blue tulle.  Lots of layers going on, but the YLI silver metallic thread and a top stitch (80/12) needle did the job.  ( I had Superior “invisible” thread in the bobbin)  I will couch some other elements along the water’s edge, and add elements to the sand and sky.  Hubby & I were discussing the “view” that I gave the project, and decided it was a “top down” view of the water, since you could see the sea life in the water. I need to pick up some light blue tulle and some “sandy” colored tulle too.  It softens the look of the project.  I was amazed at the effect you get once you start layering things.  I am a traditional quilter, so this ART stuff was out of my box, but I jumped in and had a great time.

On another note, my “new bee” The Queen Bee’s, are working on “string blocks”.  I’ve been making string blocks over the last week or so, while I gave my quilting brain a rest!  My 1.5″ box of strips was so full I couldn’t get the lid on.  It had been all packed in nice and tight, but once you put your hand in the box of strips, they seem to multiply.

Finally, last night I was able to get the lid back on. Between my sister-in-law, Carolyn and I, we got all of these done –

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Carolyn made 6 or 8 during our bee and then brought home the extra papers and finished up 6 more.  After I packed up the car with the 2nd Time Around Bins on Sunday night to go to the guild meeting, I had some free time, but didn’t want to pick up on anything “BIG”.  The string blocks were perfect to work on, as the 1.5″ and other strip containers needed to be put away!  I worked on them some on Monday afternoon when I came home.  After I “unloaded” all the 2nd Time Around Bins following the guild meeting I wanted something to do.  And I worked on them on Tuesday afternoon, after I unpacked (and put away…….yes Carolyn…I put it away) my materials from the class.  Hubby was working upstairs at his hobby table finishing his “weathering project” on his railroad cars, so I hung out and did a little “mindless sewing”.  Oh Carolyn, do you see your bits of brown fabric from your trimming project in these blocks?  They made great “corners”.  (She was trimming some blocks and I would not let her throw the “scraps” away as they were still “usable”.)

These are done on “phone book” paper for foundations and have some varying strip widths.  One of our Queen Bee members enjoys pulling the papers off.  Next time our group meets we will have an assortment from our last bee and will put together a couple of quilts for charity.  These make fun quilts, and go together quickly.

That’s all for today, it is time to go spend some time with my little grand daughter and get some much needed baby snuggles!  More on Addison’s quilt when I get my next post written!  (I have Wednesday afternoon & evening to my self, so it is on my agenda!)

Until then, here is hoping your stitches are as straight as you want them to be, unless you are free motion quilting ! Happy sewing and crafting.

 

 

 

 

This was a fun class – and you can see that in the pictures of some of the group below –