Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Midweek Makers, 8/16

FUN WITH FABRIC

This week I got sidetracked by a squirrel.  Just when I had my WIPs plan all laid out.  I came across the Mile a Minute quilt tutorial by Edith at inchbyinchquilting.blogspot.ca.   My plans flew out the window and I gathered all my little scraps.  To make a baby quilt I need 25 blocks at 8.5 inches, one of my standard sizes.  

After piecing together small bits for the 25 blocks, I became impatient to see RESULTS.


I chose four of them randomly and went to work, using  a sort of log cabin technique, and finished them at  8.5 inches.  Needless to say, they are very colorful.  They do need sashing and I just happen to have a big pile of 2-inch neutral strips.  When I was needing strips I asked my friend, who has a Go cutter, to cut some.  She went ahead and cut up all the fabric I gave her, enough for many neutral Strippy projects.  Here is how the blocks and sashing will look.


Since then I haven't been able to stop working on these blocks.  I'm chain piecing the rest of the strips.  They are in various stages of completion, most nearing the finish.  But today I have six finished blocks to share.


The weather has been delightful this week, energizing me to keep up the pace.  I should finish the blocks by the end of the week and get going on the sashiing.
For the backing I have a cute piece of fleece to make it nice and cuddly.  

 Our Monona Quilters next charity quilt collection is in October, so I will have this unexpected Project Linus quilt to contribute. 

I'm linking with Midweek Makers at 

Friday, August 11, 2017

RSC17 week 32

A BIT OF NEUTRAL

This week I got sidetracked by a squirrel.  Just when I had my WIPs plan all laid out.  I came across the Mile a Minute quilt tutorial by Edith at inchbyinchquilting.blogspot.ca.   My plans for neutrals flew out the window and I gathered all my little scraps.  To make a baby quilt I need 25 blocks at 8.5 inches, one of my standard sizes.  

After piecing together small bits for the 25 blocks, I became impatient to see RESULTS.


I chose four of them randomly and went to work, using  a sort of log cabin technique, and finished them at  8.5 inches.  Needless to say, they are very colorful.  They do need sashing and I just happen to have a big pile of 2-inch neutral strips.  When I was needing strips I asked my friend, who has a Go cutter, to cut some.  She went ahead and cut up all the fabric I gave her, enough for many neutral Strippy projects.  Here is how the blocks and sashing will look.



That's all the neutrals I have done so far, and those are just laid on my design floor.  However, I'm looking forward to Monday, when a talented friend from our Monona Quilters will bring me some samples of her small study pieces.  I plan to make some small ones myself in neutral minimal style and she can show me the technical details.  

The weather has been delightful this week, energizing me to get my latest WIP finished.  I added borders to my Fence Rail Stars top and enlarged the bunny backing with leftover blocks. 




Now I just have to dig into my batting to find pieces to use for the 42-inch square quilt.  And work on 21 more MaM blocks. Our guild's next charity quilt collection is in October, so I will have at least two Project Linus quilts to contribute.

I hope the rest of you friends have more ideas for neutrals this week.  The blocks I've been doing monthly don't seem to work for neutrals.  I guess I will have to rely on you and the squirrels for more ideas.  

For more inspiration check out these great scrappy blogs this weekend.
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at





Friday, August 4, 2017

RSC week 31

IN BETWEEN

This week has been one of catching up on a couple of projects and reshuffling my stash again.  Last week i decided to make a Friendship Star block.  It turned out to be a frustrating time for  me. How hard can it be to make one small star?  I found out!  I had the most beautiful jelly roll strip in royal blue so that was my choice of technique.  There are a number of ways to cut the HSTs.  I used my Easy Angle ruler to cut all the triangles.  A wornout rotary blade was no help.  I had to rip at least three times to get the star sewn together when it ended up backwards.  


I had two goals for the star, doing something with blue and making more stars for my patriotic star quilt.  With time on my hands, I used the Magic Eight technique, my favorite HST technique.  It worked well, but I had cut two large squares of a different blue.  So I ended up with four more stars, two with red centers.  They are all six inches.



I've been poking along with my Fence Rail Stars quilt.  


Now I'm adding extra blocks to the bunny backing.  Fortunately I am able to make good use of the blocks that I cut too short.  Here is the first part of it just finished.




For the new neutrals color I'm at a disadvantage, never having worked with them much.  I really had to dig everywhere to come up with what I hope will work.  These scrappy blocks for my improv quilt are really the only neutrals I've done.



I'm looking forward to see how you friends work with the neutrals.  Hopefully by next week I'll be able to produce something neutral.  I know some of you are gifted that way.  We will see what this color junkie can produce.  

For more scrappiness take a look here.  I link up with
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at











Friday, July 28, 2017

RSC17 week 30

NOT MUCH BLUE

There is beautiful blue sky today, but only a little blue in my latest quilt projects.  That's okay, because I'm working on a new little blue project for next week.  It's very simple except foe the amount of ripping involved.  So it's not ready for you to see,until next week.

I just completed a really cute flimsy, the Fence Rail Star quilt by Jenny Doan at MSQC.  I loved its size, about 42 inches square, and the deceptively easy pattern.  I found lots of colorful jelly roll strips in my kids theme stash, so it used lots of one of a kind strips and lots of color.


After completing the rail fence blocks I took a photo of the entire layout.  I had to refer to it constantly to make sure they twisted and turned properly.  Even when I finished it I saw a glaring mistake.  Fortunately, the lucky little one won't know the difference.  It does have monkeys in it and that's what counts.  It still needs a white border.  However, I really was lucky to find the perfect backing in my stash.


Monkeys plus bunnies makes it really perfect for snuggling.


GENTRIFICATION

On Tuesday I published the result of my Ad Hoc Improv Quilts Challenge Two on Ann's blog, Fret Not Yourself. The challenge was to combine two different blocks into one quilt. I had eight blocks of little wonky houses which I had made using the stack and Whack method.  They were not done with any purpose in mind but just to try out the method.  They were cute and colorful and easy to make but I need to something to contrast with them.  So I got out my ugliest dirty looking scraps and improv pieced them into 8 inch blocks to match the little houses.  



My inspiration came by chance.  In June I happened to see an MSNBC interview of Richard Florida who has written a book about gentrification called  The New Urban Crisis.  In several large cities like New York rundown buildings have been bought cheaply and refurbished.  The neighborhoods became more desireable with the addition of new restaurants, boutique shops and an influx of more affluent tenants.  This caused real estate values to rise dramatically, making rents unaffordable for former tenants who were forced to move away from their homes, jobs and way of life.  Thus more inequality,  segregation and poverty have resulted.  


This dilemma is what I have attempted to show in my quilt.  It's represented by the contrast between the new houses and the empty lots.  The black strips with "fencing""  divide the blocks along their sides, and the lime green strips represent the bright new face of the neighborhood.  I'm going to add  more to it for the third challenge.

So that was my busy quilting week.  I appreciate Angela's and Cynthia,s faithful linkups every week so we can share what is working or not working for us with friends who understand.  Check it out at RSC17 at soscrappy  and




Friday, July 21, 2017

RSC17 week 29

WISHING FOR BLUE SKIES

In the past week of clouds, rain and thunderstorms I've been missing the beautiful blue skies here in the Midwest.  So I've kept busy using my blue scraps for Rainbow Scrap Challenge goals.  My final project in blues was the Geese Migration blocks.  Cynthia has inspired me to really dig in and find special blue scraps.  
The light block was easier to do than the dark one, because the dark colors tend to blur together too easily, so I had to use bits of other colors to enliven the blocks. 

Here you can compare the blocks and see the different things that stand out.




Now that I got my two tops sent off Covered In Love,  I wanted something quick, easy and colorful for a Project Linus quilt.  Jenny Doan came out with a new pattern, Fence Rail Stars, not long ago which had me drooling over her colors and the simplicity of it.  The size is just right also, about 45 inches.  She used a really colorful jelly roll which was on my wish list.  

However, I knew I could find enough bright and child themed strips in my stash.  I also found I had a 2-yard piece of a not-quite white which needed to be used. I bought it back in my first rush of online fabric buying, not realizing there are dozens of whites with fancy names that don't mix with each other. 

After gathering and piecing my sets of three strips, I happily cut them up into 6-1/2-inch squares.  Until I found that from each strip I had cut one square too short.  My non-math head doing its thing again.  However, in order to have something, anything for this blog I prepared four blocks with flip triangles and laid them out on my lovely new design floor, aka my recently replaced kitchen floor, to show you.


Since then I have found and pieced together enough strips to complete the project.  You really need to have them all at hand to do a balanced layout of colors.  This terrible weather is expected to last at least another week, so I will have the finished top to show you next week.

Until then I will also be working on my third AHIQ challenge, due next Tuesday.  I don't know what I will do for other blues, maybe some friendship stars to add to my beginnings of a QOV project.  I'm learning from many of you how handy it is to have a parts department with blocks ready to be used.

I'm anxious to see all of your fine scrappy projects so please join me at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at




Friday, July 14, 2017

RSC17 week 28

SUMMER BLUE

Blue makes me feel cool, just what I need these days.  I've made progress on a couple of fronts this week.  For a start, I completed construction of two blue houses.  Would you believe an elephant can fit in a 6-inch square house?  Well, somehow he squeezed in when my back was turned.


At the last.minute today I decided to make my blue Folded Box block.  I did really careful trimming each piece to size and had a very easy time piecing it.  Why didn't I think of that these last few months?



The major sewing project for the week, between the houses and the box, was binding my Summer Kaffe Fassett quilt.  It took almost nine jelly roll strips to do the job.  I used Bella strips in red.  I really am sold on those Bella strips, which come in a junior roll of 20 strips.  They have tiny pinking, so no fraying, and seem to fold and drape more easily,than other fabrics.  I stitched it down on the front first.  Then I did a zigzag on the back. Since the front border was such a mix of red tones, the occasional areas of zigzagging onto the border do not show at all.  

Here is a really good pic of the lovely longarm quilting.


This next photo show binding, back and front.


And finally, here is my Summer quilt on my bed.  Amazingly, for the first time in a year I slept eight hours straight.  There's just something about sleeping under your own dream quilt!


I wish you all sweet summer dreams this week.

Please join me in checking out some great scrappy quilting at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at


Thursday, July 6, 2017

RSC17 week 27

THE LIVING IS EASY

Blue skies, blue water mean summertime and here we are celebrating the red, white and blue or the Canadian maple leaf.  I watched the Capitaal Fourth celebration honoring our country and the ordinary people who make it so great.

It was easy after getting out my blues to make a patriotic star for Covered In Love this month.


My first RSC17 blue project is my row for the Crayon quilt.  I will do the points at the end.  Cathy k in Utah finished her top last week, so check her,s out.



The other things I've been working on are two tops for Covered In Love to be donated to dying patients and their families at a large hospital in Tyler, Texas.  This is run by Kat Drinkwater of Kat and Cat Quilts.

I finished the first top, formerly Tossed Salad, which will be nameless after donation.  The patient and family can name it whatever they choose.  I think some cross name would be appropriate.


Fortunately,the mailing box will have enough room for my other top, Type Face, a cheerful variation of the Color Works pattern.  It is also adult size and I just added the border to finish it off.


I had this box of fat quarters sitting around for more than two years, so between these two Quilts I have made a significant dent in my stash.  Funny, though, I can't see the stash getting smaller.

I love seeing all the amazing quilt projects each week.  The weekend is my favorite time to enjoy your posts, so please keep them coming.

Rainbow Scrap Challenge at



Friday, June 30, 2017

RSC17 week 26

GRAND FINALE

My,Kaffe Fassett summer quilt is finally finished except for the binding.  My friend, Sue Vollbrecht of Quillted Memories, did the long arm Quilting and gave it to me at our Monona Quilters meeting on Monday.


Sue used Dream cotton batting, nice and cool for summer.  She used red thread for both sides, which shows well on the back.  I chose a loose swirl pattern.  


For the 16-inch blocks I used all pre-cuts and each required only five seams.  The best part was choosing the fabrics for each block.   Here is a right side up view, showing the charm  squares in yellow.  


As soon as I attach about ten miles of red binding I will love sleeping under it with sweet dreams of more Quilts.  I wish the same for all of you.

For more scrappy fun chec out
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at






Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Covered In Love, 6/27

GOOD NEWS

l finished my Tossed Salad top for Covered In Love and showed it to my guild on Monday. 


When I checked the mailing box it took up less than half the space.  I had started work on another UFO from last year using a fat quarter bundle called Type Face purchased about three years ago.  The pattern is Colorworks, very popular in our quilt group and very simple.  A couple of months ago I finished making 120 blocks and they sat gathering dust.  
This week I joined pairs  of random blocks.  Then yesterday I called my granddaughter,  who got on the floor and laid out the pairs for twelve rows of five pairs each.  This is the layout.


So today I began piecing the strips.  Of course, when I checked the photo the  two top strips were reversed.  Imrov time.  Switching a couple of rows solved the problem.  

The good news, Kat, is I will be sending you a box with two finished tops instead of just one. This one is larger, about 60 X 75 inches.  Pray that no sewing disasters happen.  I'm thrilled to be giving you a double dip this first time contributing.  

Linking up with Covered In Love  at  katandcatquilts.blogspot.com



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

AHIQ Challenge, June 27

DELAY AND SURPRISE 

My AHIQ Callenge Two top was finished, but there was a delay in finding the right fabric, at the right price of course.  It recently arrived and I'm very happy with the choice.  Here it is with the folded quilt top.


I'm very happy with the choice, a stylized floral.  I bought enough for the backing as wall.

Meanwhile, I got sidetracked on another improv project which will become a charity donation.  In short, it was a challenge to myself to use these ugly pieces or throw them out.  I nick named the donated  repro strips and unwanted neutral 4-patches as tossed salad and soggy crackers.  See below.


What quilter could toss out these pieces?  Not I.  Suddenly the solution came to me, the way to combine them.  So I made these cross blocks to use the 2-inch strips and the patches.  The sashing and binding are from a piece bought years ago to make a dress.  It was exactly the extra something needed to tie the blocks together.  I finished it in just a week.


This top will go to  Kat and Cat Quilts.  Kat is a nurse at a large Texas hospital and her Covered In Love charity gives donated quilts to dying patients and their families, such a beautiful cause. I'm so pleased that these unwanted scraps have become a quilt to give comfort to a grieving family.

So this is my impromptu improv quilt to share this month.  I will definetly share my Challenge Two finish next month.  Thank you, Kaja and Ann,  for making Ad Hoc Improv Quilts a place where we can get encouragement to do what inspires us.  
Please have a look at Ad Hoc Improv Quilts doings at  Kaya's blog,  Sew Slowly, or Ann's blog, Fret Not Yourself




Friday, June 23, 2017

RSC17 week 25

A START AND A FINISH

With yellow winding down and all my yellow projects done, I needed something new to add to this month's stack of completed yellows.  I've been planning to do something entirely in solids for quite a while, but squirrels have come along and sidetracked me.  Not this time!

Ever since making those lovely but difficult Twinkler star blocks I've wanted an easier method.  Someplace in Quilty Blogland I found out about the Creative Grids Strippy Star ruler and finally bought one on line (with a fabric sale purchase, of course) a few weeks ago.  What color is better for a star.than yellow?  Dipping into my solid precuts, I made my first Strippy Star yesterday.


This was very easy to make and is 12-1/2 inches unfinished.  I was inspired by Mari's wonderful star quilt project.  The ruler can be used for almost any size block and I like the look of scattered stars of different sizes.  I would plan to make them in different sizes, all solids using the RSC17 colors.  So now I have one more project to reward myself with an emoji every month.

You've seen my WIP, my so-called Tossed Salad quilt top for the Covered In Love charity project run by Kat at katandcatquilts.blogspot.com.  It got finished in record time and I will show it on Monday at my guild.  


These are the pieces I have disliked for a long time, finally together and surrounded by a lovely old piece of blue floral.  That was what it needed to give it some life.  It measures about 50x60 inches.


I'm so pleased that it will go to a great cause, for hospital patients near death and their families.  I pray that it will speak of love and comfort to some family and their loved one.

Meanwhile, this week I've resurrected another UFO project to work on for Covered In Love.  I'm anxious to find out the color for July.  So far this has been a good summer here.  I wish you all a good stitching week.

For more quilting scrappy goodness, please take a peek at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Covered In Love, 6/21

A FINE FINISH

I just finished sewing the borders on the quilt, which I had been calling Tossed Salad.  In about one week I turned a bunch of old strips and about 100 neutral 4-patch blocks into a quilt that I'm happy to donate to Covered In Love.  


My granddaughter stopped by just now and kindly held the quilt for a quick photo.  It will finish about 50x60 inches.  All the fabrics were from my stash.  The sashing fabric was bought for a dress many years ago, but has been used in several quilts. 

I'm going to show it at our quilt group next Monday and then send it along to you, Kat.  I'm really delighted that all these unloved fabrics will give some comfort to people in need.

Linking up with Covered In Love  at  katandcatquilts.blogspot.com

Friday, June 16, 2017

RSC17 week 24

 STILL YELLOW

This week I worked on my final yellow blocks, two yellow Geese Migration blocks.  They were difficult to find varieties of yellow to fill the blocks.  The light and dark are not very different.


I really enjoy making these blocks each month.  They will make a great rainbow.  

The latest project that popped into my head was to use some scrappy pieces hanging around for too long.  I had a container stuffed full of 2-inch repro strips and about 100 4-patch blocks in neutrals.



These reminded me of wilted salad and soggy crackers.

I decided to make 7-1/2 inch blocks using both pieces.  I also had a large piece of navy with little flowers, plenty for sashing and borders.  I got so excited about this project that I finished the 30 blocks in three days.  Sarah came to lay them out on my apt hallway design floor.  Not a bad use for the, tossed salad and crackers.


There are some yellows in there and I'm pleased that the collection looks softly colorful.  This first,sample shows the added sashing.


This 50x60 top will go to Covered In Love at Kat and Cats for donation to dying patients and their family at the large hospital in Texas where she is a  nurse.  She has local volunteers who will quilt it.

If you want to see more rainbow fun, go on over to

Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

Friday, June 9, 2017

Posted 6/12

TOSSED SALAD

This is what was hanging around in my studio and getting very tired looking.


No, it is not edible, never was.  These 2-inch strips were from a friend who could no longer sew.  She loved repros; I do not.  I used a few pieces in my AHIQ challenge two, but what to do with these?  

I was also constantly being nagged by about 100 little neutral 4-patch blocks.  They were rejected for the challenge top.  Two nights ago a flash of inspiration hit.  Why not combine them for a charity quilt?  These are the poor rejects, about seven months old.  They remind me of soggy crqckers.


And voila!  The combination of wilted greens and soggy crackers came alive and have a purpose.


I was so excited that in less than 24 hours I have made 17 of the 25 squares I plan to use.  I have a nice dark blue with little flowers, enough for sashing and border.  I'll keep you  posted. I just had to let you know I can work with repros after all.
Take a look at other fun projects at
 Covered in Love at katandcatquilts.blogspot.com

RSC 17 week 23

 GOLDEN DAYS

Despite having a large yellow stash, it was hard to come up with a decent mix of 20 yellow strips for my crayon block.  These show my progress with the crayons so far.  I will do the tips at the end.


I took two projects to show and tell at my guild meeting this week.  The Bananas quilt is finished and I gave it to a friend whose dad called her his little monkey, so it means a lot to her.


This week I completed the Folded Box in yellow.

Ever since I saw this block posted by Julie in GA at quiltandcostumes.blogspot.com I have  been obsessed with the way the Folded Box block has a 3-D effect if done in the right choice of fabrics.  I love working with color and this block is really a challenge.  You can't tell if the 3-D effect works until you lay out the cut pieces.

There must be contrast with light, medium and dark pieces.  Some colors are a real challenge, such as red and also yellow, our color for June at RSC.  Both of those colors have a very narrow range from light to dark.  Here is my yellow block for this month.  I make them at 12 inches finished.


I was not sure if I could do this without getting the dark pieces into brown. However, the paisley print I found mixes the two shades to appear as dark gold.  It is definitely not brown.  For the light pieces I chose the brightest light yellow I could find to stand out as the main color.  And the batik is just on the edge between yellow and orange.  


For these Folded Box blocks  done so far, I use the pattern found in patchworksquares.com in the 12-inch category, but called Folded Corners.  It has a good GIF pattern in different sizes.

I've been enjoying lovely weather this week, but tomorrow they say a week of high 80s is coming, so I should get more stitching done.  Thank God for AC!  I hope all of you friends have a productive week.  For weekend fun check out the doings at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at