Saturday, November 30, 2019

November Monthly Mini

AAK! It was already halfway through November and I had no idea what I was going to do for my Monthly Mini! And I needed to finish before the 25th,  as I had company coming, needed to morph my sewing room into a guest room, had barely any time to sew, bla bla bla...

Suddenly I remembered a large baggie of "scraps"*  gifted to me by my friend Sue, at our quilt retreat a few weeks earlier.

These were hardly scraps, but more like generous leftovers of brand new fabric from a quilt she was currently working on. Already coordinated, they were perfect to play with, so I went to town.

I'm calling this "Sue's Scraps". Its just 6 1/2" x 10 3/4", so kinda like an oversized mug rug. I love the combination of fabrics, but now I'm having second thoughts about those orange strips above and below the star. Oh well, there it is.

I hand quilted it using a combination of YLI Natural, and a charcoal color for some of the ditch quilting.

I found this cute conversational for the back, although the quilting (and lighting) kinda obscure it. It looks like I may need to add another bit of quilting down the sides, but I wanted to get the binding on and call it "finished"  for now. (is that cheating?)

Here is a slightly better shot of the backing fabric.

Anyway, I'm now ready to post, and happy to get my little quilt in on time. Wendy at The Constant Quilter hosts this little challenge, which is so fun!  To see what everyone else made this month, go on over to Wendy's blog  and enjoy! 😄😄😄

Meanwhile, I've been working on my Summer Sampler, which was a Temecula Quilt Co. sew-along about four years ago. Here are the blocks I've made so far:

I need to make twelve more blocks if I want it to be the same size as the original. I'm really really enjoying making these little blocks, none of which are too terribly difficult. But as much as I am enjoying the process, I also really look forward to quilting it, and to being able to enjoy the finished product. To me, sampler quilts are just so fun to hang out with. Each block brings so much joy, thinking back to how much fun it was picking the fabrics and constructing the block.

Saturday update:  Company is gone, bedding is in the wash, guest room is slowly morphing back into my sewing room. Its raining steadily today, and the forcast is for more of the same for the next week and a half. Excellent "excuse" to sew, which I'm so looking forward to!

Hoping everyone had a pleasant, warm, and safe holiday! 


Thursday, October 31, 2019

October Monthly Mini

Another small mini from vintage blocks.

When I was given these (by my MIL, of course) I immediately knew I wanted to use them for doll quilts. (read more about the blocks  here.) I really love those quiry old fabrics!

I began deconstructing some blocks by cutting them along the seam lines. It was tedious and a bit overwhelming, and the whole idea stalled. Plus I wasn't sure yet "exactly" what I wanted to make.

They went back in the bin and ended up stashed for the past 3 1/2 years.

Recently I saw this on Pinterest, and I was re-inspired.

A simple one-patch. That sounded like a plan. So I dug out the blocks and got to work. After a lot of cherry picking, slicing, and patch liberation, I ended up with a group I thought might work for a cute little mini.

Mine measures 7 1/2" x 10 1/2"
  I have enough of those big blocks to make 50 more of these. 
Which I won't, of course. 

The back and binding, I believe, are vintage ... '60's, maybe?

I need to liberate more patches out of those blocks, and see what else I can come up with. Maybe a little quilt for my new doll cradle?  😊

OK.. that's it for me! Now go check out the other "Monthly Mini's" posted this month, over at The Constant Quilter!


Friday, October 25, 2019

My First Doll Bed

My hubby was in St. George Utah a couple of weeks ago, playing softball in a senior league. He really wanted me to go with him, but that dang job of mine keeps getting in the way of such fun.

On his way home, he stopped to visit his Mom in Southern California. Somehow they came up with the notion that I might like a doll bed.  And the next thing you know he loaded this into his car...

A doll cradle! Made by his stepdad, no less!
(Lela, if you are reading this, THANK YOU so very much! You are the sweetest, most generous Mother-in-Law (and friend) a girl could ever have!)

I wasted no time fashioning an improv mattress and covering it with a doll quilt. Now all I need is a pillow and pillowcase.

I placed this little gem on it in the meantime...

But I'd like something smaller, more in the shape of a bed pillow. I'm pretty sure I can round up suitable materials to make one, along with a cute pillowcase. If all else fails, I may have to employ my friend Melinda, who made the one above.

At any rate, I am thrilled to have my very first doll bed! I'm not sure where I'm going to put it, as its fairly large, measuring 20" long, and 18" across the rockers. So it won't exactly fit on a shelf, you know? Hmmmm..... will have to keep you posted on that. Meanwhile, I'll have fun "changing the linens" and trying out some other doll quilts on the bed. Fun!

While in St. George, Bruce made use of his spare time visiting relatives in the area, and also made a "proxy" visit to the local quilt store, where he bought these:

Eleven fat quarters, which he picked out himself, based on his observation of what I like. Good job, Bruce! You gotta love a guy who buys fabric for his wife, right? Most of these are from the line Hickory Road by Jo Morton. I love them!

I'm a happy gal!


Monday, October 14, 2019

On My Design Wall

Do these blocks ring a bell for anyone?

They're from a sew-along called Summer Sampler, that Sheryl Johnson from Temecula Quilt Company led back in 2015. I've had a seed planted in my brain about this quilt, growing slowly for four years. Lately it has worked its way to the front, demanding to come to fruition.

Above is the quilt Sheryl made, the one everyone sewed along with.
(pssst... you can still find all the directions for Sheryl's quilt here)

Below is the antique quilt which was her inspiration.

I fell in love immediately.

I downloaded all the blocks, I bought the background fabric and the Block Tool* and followed along faithfully for ten weeks.

But I never made a single block.

I don't remember what was taking priority at the time, but this guy kept getting put on the back burner while I worked on "more important" things, and ended up staying there in an endless loop - for a very long time - while other projects came and went.

The background fabric got used for another project (a bad sign).
I still have the Block Tool (a good sign).

Well (four years later) somehow its number finally came up, and I decided to just go for it.

Part of the impetus was a bin full of charm packs etc. I'd been hoarding saving for way too long, including many pre-cuts from TQC. So I already had the right fabrics to get the desired "look" .. being brighter and more lively than my usual darkish/dullish palette, but still retaining a vintage look.

This is what I have so far.

The background blue is from my stash, and is looking more dull than it actually is, no doubt due to the poor light in my sewing room when I took the picture. But even in poor light, the blocks really stand out, which is a good thing!

Meanwhile, I discovered an alternate blue in one of my charm packs, a Betsy Chutchian line called Evelyn's Homestead.

Very close to the one from my stash - but prettier - so I went ahead and ordered some yardage. I may use them both. The vintage "inspiration" quilt has a slightly different fabric for the upper and lower borders, and I like that look.

Its hard to tell from the picture what exactly the quiltmaker used for the "lights" in the vintage blocks, but Sheryl used white in hers. One change I'm making is, I'm using shirtings for my lights. My way of adding a little more warmth, I guess.

One of Sheryl's own interpretations of the vintage quilt was to substitute many of the more complicated blocks for simpler ones, resulting in a cleaner, more graphic look, and at the same time, an "easier" project for summer sewing.  I decided I'd like to at least try more of the original blocks. In other words, I'll be using blocks from both the original quilt and from Sheryl's repro for my own interpretation.

I have nineteen more blocks to make, give or take a couple of re-makes. Which I don't mind, as I'm absolutely loving making these blocks!


*I highly recommend The Quick and Easy Block Tool by C&T Publishing - very helpful, especially if you need instructions on how to cut various blocks. (includes 102 rotary cut blocks in five different sizes!) I bought mine from Temecula Quilt Co.  Of course!

Monday, September 30, 2019

September Monthly Mini

Just under the wire...

Made from the deconstructed old blocks I posted about here.
The puss-in-a-corner blocks are a bit wonky, as were the original 
nine-patches. I decided not to worry about that. 

Sparcely hand quilted, 

Vintage indigo border and binding,

Soft, old-looking print for the back. 
(nice and light to camouflage my huge stitches, ha ha!)

This one from the leftover four-patches. 
Not sure about the binding, which I'm already considering switching out for ... ?

 The back is a soft brushed cotton, formerly a pajama leg.

 Yep, methinks that binding has to go. Any ideas?

An idea of scale. 
The four-patches finish at just under 2"
The puss-in-a-corner blocks, 2 3/4" 
Now to link up with Wendy, at The Constant Quilter
for more Monthly Mini's !

Monday, September 23, 2019

uh oh... spam! 😾

I have had to activate the moderation feature on my comments, and I think I added one of those puzzle thingies I hate. I am so sorry I had to resort to this, but I had three spams yesterday and fifteen more this morning, all identical. Grrrr.... !

Has anyone else been getting spam in Arabic?

Sunday, September 15, 2019

New Quilts for Old...

I've had this small stack of fairly ancient quilt blocks hanging around for quite some time, which were given to me by my MIL (given to her by ?? neither of whom had any use for them). Mostly double 9-patches, plus a handful of random one-off blocks. The 9-patches are mainly shirtings - I'm guessing time-era to be 40's? Could be older...?

I've loved these poor discarded blocks and visited them from time to time, but never had a clue what the heck I was ever going to do with them. They were not suitable for sewing together, as they looked to have been cut out of a top already, leaving no seam allowances along the outer edges. Some cuts went deep into the 9-patches themselves, compromising them even more.

So there they sat, until I had sort of an "aha" moment, which was more like an "aha" couple of months.

Inspiration started brewing as I became obsessed with looking at antique doll quilts on Pinterest, and by other quilters who make really cool doll quilts out of vintage fabrics. I started thinking, maybe I could do this with my old blocks. Part of the "aha" was when I realized that a no-seam-allowance 9-patch could easily be finished as a Puss-in-the Corner block (albeit somewhat wonky, in this case). Anyway, I finally decided I might as well go ahead and start to deconstruct the blocks, and see what I might come up with.

This is what's on my design wall today.

Fun! Well, mostly...

The hard part was, the sewing was so tight there was no way I was going to be able to pick the units apart. I finally settled for cutting them apart along the remaining seam lines, which wasn't a big deal, seeing the outside edges had already been compromised. I ended up with a nice handful of trimmed nine-patches, which will become Puss-in-a corner blocks. The most mutilated ones became 4-patches. All good!

Now the real fun begins, playing around with the units, and finding other vintage fabrics to go with them. Luckily I have a few (not many) small pieces, including the indigo and shirtings I scored at our Quilt Show Bargain Garden earlier this year. Although I'd love to have more variety, these will definitely come in handy.

We'll see how the progress goes, and which ones make the final cut and turn into quilts.

Meanwhile, I started yet another project from the book, Quirky Little Quilts from Temecula Quilt Company.

Except I increased the block size from 3" to 6" and added a few more blocks. I kitted up 63 blocks, enough for a small throw. I'll work on this at my quilt retreat in November.

I'm having some weird kind of trouble with blogger right now, my y's and z's aren't showing up as I tyype, and my z's show up as a quotation mark. They do appear correctly in the preview, so hopefully it will all correct itself when I post this.

Stay tuned....