Wednesday, January 22, 2020


I thought I was finished with this a couple months ago, but later I decided the shape wasn't right. Too long. Or, not wide enough, depending on your point of view. So a couple days ago I went to work and added a vertical row down the left side. I think its good now.

random scraps, tiny to large

The basket contains what's left over of some of the scraps I was working from. Totally disorganized catch-all, so a real pain to pick through and try to find "just the right scrap". Most of the time I settled for whatever fit. I have other smaller containers with labels such as "triangles" also totally random, or "random tiny bits" which is insane, I know. But if you look closely  at the quilt, you'll see lots of those bits were used, in fact a few entire blocks  consist of them. Another box is labelled "playtime scraps" which are where I got the tiny (and not so tiny) centers for some of the blocks.

I usually quilt my own quilts using a walking foot, but I'd really like an all-over fairly small stipple on this, which is definitely not in my skill set. On the other hand, I really hate having to spend the $$ on a quilt I consider kinda junky. Anyway, I'll look into it, and hopefully I can get a decent deal somewhere.

small-ish scraps, halfway organizzed

I want to continue trying to work through all these scraps, but I don't think I want to make another random scrap quilt like Berserkistan. I've been thinking of other ideas, one of them being scrappy pineapple blocks.  My friend Pam gave me a marked paper foundation for paper piecing a six inch block, which I might have to give a try. Paper piecing kinda drives me nuts, though. Meantime, I got curious about the pineapple trim ruler. That sounded much more my style. I just so happened I find one a couple weekends ago at Family Threads in San Juan Bautista, where I was attending a quilt retreat. They had a good deal on it, too - $20 plus a 15% discount for being a "retreater".

It took a couple of minutes to figure it out, but I eventually got in the swing of it and started a few blocks.

But wait a minute. These aren't shaping up to look  like pineapple blocks.

This is a pineapple block.

Mine look more like Square in a Square blocks. Hmm. I thought I was following the instructions, but obviously I went wrong somewhere.

Oh well...  (to be continued)


Tuesday, December 31, 2019

December Mini

Once again, I "Returned to Temecula" for my monthly mini.

I can't seem to stay  away from Temecula for very long. So many of her quilts call out to me, as in I want to make this quilt! "Her" being Sheryl Johnson of Temecula Quilt Company. I love her designs, which are challenging but mostly not too complicated, and I keep returning to them again and again. I also love her color style, which I've come to call "Temecula Style" being on the brighter, more colorful side of the repro genre. The happier colors are a fun departure from my usual "dull" palette.

For this month's mini, I thought I'd make "Tiny Tree" which was her Christmas Mini for this year, but then I found this one from a previous year, and decided to make it instead. It uses the same blocks as the tree, but with different colors and setting. Much happier!

 I quilted it using the hand-quilt stitch on my Janome. So easy (no stress on my hands) and so effective. 

Once again I was blessed with serendipity, finding the perfect border and backing fabric, out of my stash!

Now back to the sewing room, to work on my Summer Sampler - another Temecula project from a few years ago. Don't worry, I'll have a finish to show soon, which is NOT from Temecula, and other projects brewing as well.

Now go check out the other minis for this month on Wendy's blog. 

Happy New Year, everyone!


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 !