Wednesday, October 24, 2018

That Bleedin' Red

I'm sure many of you have experienced something like this.

Recently while scrounging around in the "I need to get rid of  use" bin, I discovered I had just enough of a certain red/white toile-type fabric, which combined with another red print (both leftovers from different projects) to scrabble together a smallish Irish Chain quilt.

After some pre-cutting at home, I power sewed at a quilt retreat and got it all together. Later I machine quilted it, and as per my usual routine, I threw it in the wash as soon as I got the binding sewn down.  

Oops...  oh no! The red "chain" fabric bled all over the toile.  Or... maybe it was the red in the toile fabric that bled all over itself? Who knows.

At any rate, I was mystified, as not only had I pre-washed  the fabrics, but I had used both in other (red and white) quilts, with no bleed issues. What the heck? 

Dismayed, I searched the internet for a cure. I found one that instructed you to soak the quilt overnight in very hot water and Dawn dishwashing detergent, so I did that. The stains were considerably diminished (ie almost gone) but the backing and the toile ended up looking... well...  pink.

Then I discovered an almost-full bottle of Synthrapol I'd forgotten about, and tried another soak with that.

No dice. Still pink.

Yes I used Color Catchers - three in the first "Dawn" cycle, which came out bright red, and two more in the Synthrapol cycle, which came out more of a dark pink.

At any rate, I am now pondering if I should try a weak bleach soak, which has worked for me in the past, or if I should just leave it as-is. I will no doubt give this quilt away, either to my MIL who happens to love red and white (but not necessarily pink) or to a charity group.

two days later:

I did the bleach.

This trick is among a variety of techniques I learned from my Mom, who was the Supreme Stain Getter-Outer in our community of family and friends. Mom taught me about bleach, and how to use it safely, and effectively.

In this case, I filled the washer with hot water, added about 1/2 cup of liquid Clorox-type bleach, and made sure to stir it around before immersing the quilt. Then I let it soak, stirring and checking from time to time, to make sure all areas of the quilt were swimming freely in the bleach water, meanwhile checking for "doneness."

One hour did the trick.

Somewhat miraculously I think, both "whites" reverted to their original colors: the "creamy" white in the toile, and the crisper white in the backing fabric. Pretty amazing, imo.

(Looking at the picture, it looks like the toile is still a little pink. Funny because in real life, its not. My pictures are not the best. The "pink" one looks more yellow. Go figure.)

Anyway, I believe I "saved" the quilt. I'll let my Mother In Law be the judge. I'll "show and tell" it to her when we get together T-giving weekend. I really hope she takes it home.

Maybe another day I'll reveal some more of my Mom's tricks. ;-)



Thursday, September 13, 2018

Switching Gears

I needed to take a break from my Quirky Blocks (see previous two posts). My sewing room was a disaster! Scraps everywhere.  I needed to clean it up, and give myself some breathing room. Also needed to focus on something a little more structured for a minute.

give-away quilt

I recently gave away two more quilts, one to my friend's husband who has cancer, and one to her as well, as she needed a quilt as much as he did. They've been going through a clinical trial, and have to travel across country every two weeks for the treatment. Its been a really rough time for the two of them.

Which left me with only one give-away quilt on my stack, and I really like to have a few of these quilts on hand, because you never know when someone is going to need one.

I (shamelessly) stole the idea for the above quilt from a Quilt of Valor posted on Alycia's blog. I really like the soft colors, and the birds-in-the-air pattern, which is perfect for 2 1/2" strips. All that's left to do is the binding.

I also finished up this little Americana mini I started out of leftover blocks and scraps. I think it looks a little chopped off, but I still like it OK.

Meanwhile, I've been itching to make something from Sheryl Johnson's book Quirky Little Quilts.

First up:  the quilt on the cover! Out came the scraps again to make some blocks.

Since I've been on such a bent to use up scraps, I'm limiting myself to actual scraps for these blocks. Most of my scraps are pretty small, very few more than 5 or so inches. So pretty challenging to keep from diving into my stash for the right color. Upshot, my sewing room is a scrappy mess again.

Sigh ... :-)


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

These are addicting!

These are addicting!

Way too fun to make, as the possibilities are endless. 

Depending on my mood, I guess... some are somewhat neat and planned,

while others are sort of all over the place.

Some have the tiniest little bits,

 others use leftover units from other projects.

In the past couple weeks I've managed to rack up 72 of these blocks, which is the good news. The bad news is, it doesn't seem like I've made a dent in my scraps!

Meanwhile, yesterday I decided to take a break and make something else - another little Americana mini.

The pieces for the stars were already cut, leftover from a Vet quilt I made several years ago. Rather than incorporate them into the Quirky Quilt, I thought I'd play around with giving them their own space. Layered as you can see, machine quilted in-the-ditch. Will probably hand quilt the stars and borders.

Monday, July 16, 2018

My Quirky Quilt

I've been in the mood to play with scraps.

You know all those tiny little bits, sometimes called "crumbs",  that can drive you mad? I have numerous containers full of these little critters.

Not to mention odd-size strips and triangles, as well as a box of little ufo-type things - partial blocks, rejected ideas for blocks, leftovers.... etc.

 A few weeks ago I saw this on Pinterest and got an idea.

I thought I'd go ahead and make a few "quirky" blocks, using my scraps and strips, and see what I came up with.

My strategy is to start by making "centers" with the smallest scraps, then work out with larger pieces, to end up with 6 1/2" unfinished blocks.

Or, start with a UFO in the middle.

Here are the first ten blocks I made last week.

I'm liking these. Back to the sewing room to make some more.

As you can see, they add up pretty quickly. 

And it just keeps growing!

This is definitely fun!

Now to link up with Judy's Design Wall Monday.


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Independence Day

aka 4th of July.

I made a little quilt.

I was inspired by this,
made by Sheryl at Temecula Quilt Co.

This morning's agenda: apricot jam!

Enjoy the holiday ~ 


Friday, June 29, 2018

Stars in a Time Warp

You might remember this sew-along on Barbara Brackman's Civil War blog a couple years ago.

I thought it sounded like fun, so I jumped right in and was amazed at how many of the various fabrics I was able to pull out of my own stash! I have to admit I did get stuck on a few, "faked" a couple, and was completely stymied on one. Ultimately I ended up with forty eight good blocks, enough for a small quilt.

This was definitely a process quilt. I had a lot of fun going through my stash and finding the particular styles of fabric Barbara was teaching us about. Btw this was an excellent way to refresh my memory and get reacquainted all the different fabrics I've been hoarding all these years! Anyway, I looked at the process (and the product) as a fabric study, as I learned so much going along.

I considered many ideas for my quilt. I auditioned several on my wall, proceeded with a couple,  sewed and un-sewed, and went back to square one several times.

Here's one idea that didn't make the cut.


Here's another.

Too circus-y.

And then there was this.

I came really close to sewing this one up, but it was just... too much! My Time Warp Stars were totally lost. Kind of a mess, really, especially up close. Also, too big. I am glad I kept the picture though, which is kinda fun to look at.

As much as I wanted and tried to work with the green setting, I struggled to come up with anything that made me happy. Time to let go, and move in a different direction.

Fast forward a few months (a year?) I happened upon a picture Hartwell Stars, by Cynthia at Wabi Sabi Quilts. What a gorgeous quilt! Simple, yet stunning. I'm thinking, this idea might work. And it didn't hurt that I just so happened to have a stack of triangle squares in very similar fabrics, made for a previous (aborted) project. So with Cynthia's permission, I borrowed her layout idea and color scheme, and hit the road running.

See Cynthia's inspirational quilt here.

Mine is more of a mini version, and really quite different from hers, in spite of the similar fabrics, etc. My stars are only 4" and there are far fewer of them, hence a much smaller quilt. Then I added the border, which really changes the overall look.  I wanted an "old" look, so borrowed a border idea from antique quilts. I think it's perfect. Small enough to use as a fabric reference tool (I intend to install a legend on the back) and big enough to snuggle under on the couch.

Anyway, here's another view of my finished top, taken outdoors, which shows the colors a little better.

I love how the stars take center stage, almost hovering above the more muted colors in the background.

Speaking of hoarding, I've been hoarding the last yard of that deep blue print forever, waiting for "just the right quilt" to feature it in. I think this works. I even have a bit of a scrap left over. 😊


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

as promised....

This has been finished for several months, but I never got around to posting a picture. At long last, here it is - my Hourglass Medallion quilt. 

Here's a nice detail of the center.

And here's a vignette on the garden swing.

I don't remember if I mentioned I used a cotton/wool blend for the batting. I've been using this quilt off and on for sleeping, and its nice and warm (as opposed to pure cotton) and also light. I love it.

Anyway, that's about it for this quilt! You can scroll down to the previous post if you want read more about it.

Meanwhile, new things are happening. Stay tuned....